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Mernda Rail Project factsheet: Managing rail noise

22 Mar 2018

Managing Rail Noise

Melbourne’s north is one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas

The Mernda Rail Extension Project is building eight kilometres of new rail line and transforming the way people live, work and travel in and around the area.

The rail line travels along land that has long been reserved for trains.

We have worked hard to reduce the level of noise from trains and moved and lowered tracks to keep them further away from homes.

In an Australian first, u-shaped bridge segments (u-troughs) will take trains over roads, which means the loudest part of the train is inside a concrete structure.

The u-troughs will be used for sections of rail over Hawkstowe Parade, The Parkway, and Bridge Inn Road.

We’ve reduced noise at the source and limited the need for noise walls and mounds, meaning we can save trees and create space for planting new vegetation.

The project complies with the Passenger Rail Infrastructure Noise Policy, which recognises the importance of addressing noise very early in the planning stage. The policy balances the benefits of new infrastructure with the possible impacts on nearby residents.

How we’re managing noise

Our investigation used a 3D noise software package which considered ground topography, building heights, existing background noise, train movements, train noise levels and track design.

This also considered factors including the types of trains and number of carriages and the likely speed of trains.

All dwellings and buildings within 200 metres of the track were included in the investigation.

A noise wall is being built behind the Arilla Retirement Village in South Morang, where the rail corridor is closest to residential properties.

Early in the project, other noise walls were considered for some areas, but innovation in design saw the subsequent movement of tracks and introduction of the u-troughs, further reducing noise.

By building bridges and underpasses, we've eliminated the need for the boom gates and noisy bells of level crossings.

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