Source of Matangi train noise unknown
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 6:09p.m.
By Emma Jolliff
The owners of Wellington's Matangi trains admit they are too noisy on one Wellington rail line but says they are not sure why.
Despite spending $235 million on the new trains, this noise has prompted dozens of complaints from residents on the Johnsonville line.
KiwiRail passenger manager Deborah Hume says it is causing numerous problems.
“It disturbs their sleep, it disturbs their children, it disturbs their pets. There are a number of different ways their finding their lives are not the way they'd like.”
It is a month since the new Matangi trains came into service on Wellington's Johnsonville line and the train's owners, Wellington Regional Council, still don't know what's making the noise.
“We think it's to do with the corners, we think it's to do with the interaction between the wheel and the track, interestingly it's worse in dry weather than wet weather,” councillor Peter Glensor says.
Services run around 80 times a day from 6am until midnight.
However the noise is not a problem on other lines.
“We think it's a combination of the tighter corners on this line, plus the hills are echoing the noise,” Mr Glensor says.
The manufacturers, Rotem, KiwiRail, and the council are working to fix the problem, which is expected to take at least a few months.
For now, Mr Glensor hopes they have an interim solution.
“We mostly in the evenings only use two cars on a set instead of four and people report that the noise drops quite a lot.”
It is not clear whether the remedy will be covered by warranty.
The horn, which is required to be used for safety, is also prompting complaints, and they are working to lower its intensity.
Mr Glensor suspects the older portions of the track may be causing the noise.
Despite spending $17million upgrading the line on things like lowering the tunnels and upgrading the signals and power supply, not all the track was replaced.
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27/04/2012 6:38:46 p.m.
Well, if a driver sounds their horn before, going through & then after a crossing of course its noisier! The manual states at driver discretion sounding the horn - seems some just like to honk.
26/04/2012 7:25:15 p.m.
I have no training to back it but I wonder if there is a big difference in the forward or rear overhang compared with the old units putting more side to side pressure on the curves.
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