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HS2 – sound survey

HS2 Ltd plans to use new technology to cut the noise of high speed trains on the line.

Over two thirds of the line’s surface sections between London and the West Midlands will be sunk in cuttings. Earth removed for track laying can be used to build up noise-absorbing berms. On the train itself, designers plan to eliminate the gaps between train carriages to cut noise and boost aerodynamic efficiency.

Drawing on Japanese expertise, HS2 trains could also be fitted with wheel farings to cut the noise made by the wheels on rails, the biggest source of noise on any electrified railway.

Says Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, ‘HS2 is absolutely vital for this country, providing a huge economic boost which will generate a return on investment that will continue paying back for generations to come. But you cannot build a new railway line without causing some disruption. What we can and will do is ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum by using the very latest design and construction methods.’

The most significant proposed design refinements, as revealed in last month’s RailStaff, include tunnelling under Ealing and Northolt in north west London, and at Bromford in the West Midlands.

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