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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Acoustical Warning Devices as Emergency Warning Signals, Phase 2

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Rolling Stock
Emergency Warning Signal, EWS, train horn, trespassers, music masking sounds, reaction time, Acoustic Warning Device, AWD, music, listening, rolling stock

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sponsored a project to demonstrate the effectiveness of an Acoustical Warning Device (AWD) to be used for generating a secondary Emergency Warning Signal (EWS). The focus of this Phase 2 work is to warn trespassers of an approaching train through the development of an EWS that produces a sense of urgency, is noticeable to wearers of headphones, and identifiable as a train. Several EWS sounds were developed and evaluated in surveys to assess the participant’s response of the sense of urgency and detectability. Researchers identified sound characteristics that enhance detectability.

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Last updated: Friday, March 19, 2021