Green Transformation

Noise remediation

2030/2050 noise remediation target

We have achieved the target that we jointly set with the Federal Government to halve the amount of rail transport noise affecting local residents on Federal rail lines by 2020. By the end of 2020, all existing active freight cars in the DB Cargo fleet in Germany had been fitted with whisper brakes no. 5 and, as part of the Federal Government’s noise remediation program, fixed active and passive soundproofing measures were implemented on a total of 2,000 km of the rail network.

We know that continuing to reduce local residents from rail transport noise is a key requirement for successfully continuing the shift in the mode of transport toward rail. We are therefore continuing our efforts to achieve our 2030/2050 noise remediation target:

  • In continuing the Federal Government’s noise remediation program, we will reduce rail transport noise on a total of 3,250 km of existing lines by 2030. This in turn will alleviate noise pollution for about 800,000 people, thus more than half of the residents living near lines affected by rail transport noise.
  • By 2050, we will have completely remedied the noise pollution caused by rail transport on the total of 6,500 km of existing DB lines, which in turn means that we will have remedied rail noise pollution for all of the about 1.6 million affected residents.

By the end of June 2021, we had fixed noise remediation measures in place on a total of 2,063 km of track. Using € 63.9 million from the Federal Government’s budgetary funds, 29.6 km of noise barriers were built in the first half of 2021 as part of the Federal program, and 1,048 apartments were fitted with passive soundproofing measures.

The Federal Government’s funding is essential for achieving the targets.

Innovative freight cars at DB Cargo

The European Railway Agency (ERA) has approved the ­m2 freight cars developed by DB Cargo. The m2 is the first freight car in Europe to be approved as a flexible modular system and not just for a specific purpose. The m2 cars are suitable for container transport, and thanks to exchangeable containers also for a variety of goods. Thousands of such cars are planned for deployment in the future. At the same time, digitalization is gaining momentum in rail freight transport. In cooperation with the BMVI, a digital test site was launched at the Munich-­North marshaling yard. In future, it is expected that labor-inten­­sive stages of train composition will be largely automated. This in turn can increase the capacity of marshaling yards by up to 40%. Progress has also been made with regard to noise remediation measures for freight cars. As a result of the BMVI innovative freight cars proj­­ect, the use of absorber rings on wheel sets was investigated as a means of further reducing rail transport noise in newly procured freight cars. The first practical tests exploring this are due to be carried out.

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