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Tube drivers to cut speed by half due to ‘noisy’ tracks

London Underground drivers have been instructed to drive slowly on four tube lines in an ongoing dispute over the “barrage of noise” created on certain lines.

Image credit: iStock

From 10 October drivers will curb their speed on 28 sections of track spread across the Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines where the noise is at its most severe.

RMT members on the lines involved will be instructed to drive trains in manual mode at an appropriate reduced speed to mitigate the creation of excessive noise and to alleviate the “distraction, discomfort and anxiety” caused in the affected areas.

Track fastening system Pandrol Vanguard is alleged to be the source of the excessive noise – though described by its manufacturer as “a unique rail fastening system with very low vertical dynamic stiffness” the effects of its use have caused concern to drivers and Transport for London (TfL).

“It is appalling that RMT driver members have had to resort to a programme of industrial action in order to force London Underground to take the issue of excessive track noise seriously,” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

“When in Pandrol Vanguard areas on these lines, my members will be instructed to drive trains in manual mode at an appropriate reduced speed to mitigate the creation of excessive noise and to alleviate the distraction, discomfort and anxiety caused in the affected areas.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced in July that TfL was trialling methods of reducing in-carriage noise, including under-rail pads at priority sites.

In addition, TfL said it has already agreed to provide a broader range of ear protection to drivers “who wish to use it” alongside plans for longer-term solutions.

 

 

Kellie is a freelance writer and former online editor of the Health and Safety at Work website.

Comments

  • Whilst on a central line

    Permalink Submitted by David on 1 October 2019 - 02:29 pm

    Whilst on a central line train this morning, the noise from Liverpool Street to Bethnal Green was very high, a quick look at the dB meter on my phone showed the sound as 101.5 dB.
    Whilst the exposure for passengers is relatively short, the exposure levels for drivers and staff will be above exposure limits over prolonged durations.

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  • This deserves a proper i

    Permalink Submitted by Martin Chan on 31 October 2019 - 07:46 pm

    This deserves a proper investigation by an independent acoustic professional. A comprehensive noise survey within the train compartment should be carried out at the problematic track sections, using a precision sound level meter to sample the noise exposure whilst recording the average train speeds. Weather conditions, time and date, and level of passenger loading of the EMU also should be recorded.

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