On the right tracks

SilentTrack being fitted to reduce railway noise.

The German Rhine Line needed an effective noise suppression system. British Steel’s SilentTrack® was identified as the ideal solution.

Adaptable for track configurations anywhere in the world, SilentTrack® is a flexible solution for tackling isolated ‘noise hot spots’.

The challenge

Growing public concern about noise nuisance, particularly in urban areas, has resulted in the introduction of noise-related legislation. These new regulations are compelling the international railway industry to act. In Germany, high levels of both road and rail traffic are funnelled through the Rhine Valley, creating unacceptably high noise exposure levels.

Due to rising public concern, The German Federal Environment Agency asked railway operators to reduce railway noise for people living close to noise ‘hot spots’.

Rail noise had been a major issue along the Rhine Valley, where high traffic density – especially freight trains – created unacceptably high noise levels.

The traditional solution of noise barriers was ineffective due to topography, as many properties were located on hillsides overlooking railways, leaving the option of reducing rail traffic density or train speeds as the only alternative.

The solution

SilentTrack® by British Steel is a proven system for reducing train pass-by noise by 3-6dB(A). Designed to be used in areas where track noise is the main noise source, SilentTrack® provides better noise reduction and quicker installation compared to competitors’ damper products. It is also less visually obtrusive and has lower costs than noise barriers.

SilentTrack® is a highly effective rail noise damper system, designed by British Steel’s Research and Development team in partnership with globally renowned acoustic experts at the University of Southampton.

A complete system of SilentTrack® tuned dampers were fitted along the Rhine Line – with impressive results. A reduction in the ‘pass-by’ noise of each train of between 3.0 and 4.0dB(A) resolved the problems being experienced by local residents.

The system is now installed on 45km of Rhine Line track. This means:

  • Better quality of life for people living near the railway line
  • The Rhine Line is meeting the requirements of noise legislation

Impressive track record speaks volumes

The effectiveness of SilentTrack® has been repeatedly demonstrated. Its distinctive characteristics include:

  • Holland – now installed on 85km of track after the Netherlands became the first country to approve the product in 2004
  • UK – Network Rail approval was granted in 2009, with the first installation in 2012 as part of the Thameslink project
  • Australia – New commuter line comprising 16km fitted with British Steel rail dampers was opened in 2009

In addition, installations have been completed in:

  • France
  • Sweden
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • China
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore

The product

SilentTrack® was developed by British Steel’s Research and Development team, working with British Steel’s Rail division. SilentTrack can be optimised for any type of rail profile (including UIC54, 60E1 and 56E1), any fastening type (such as Vossloh, Pandrol and Nabla) or sleeper (for example, concrete mono-block or bi-block, concrete slab, steel, timber).


The SilentTrack® system is quick and easy to fit and enables us to maximise the amount of work done during track closure, making the work cost effective for the railway company. We are able to fit the SilentTrack system to 300m of track per hour.

Roland van Uuden, Hering Gleisbau