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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

High-Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment

Document Series
Technical Reports
Carl E. Hanson, P.E., Jason C. Ross, P.E., and David A. Towers, P.E.
Report Number
Subject High-Speed Passenger Rail
High-Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment

This report is the second edition of a guidance manual originally issued in 2005, which presents procedures for predicting and assessing noise and vibration impacts of high-speed ground transportation projects. Projects involving high-speed trains using traditional steel-wheel on steel-rail technology as well as magnetically levitated (maglev) systems are included. Procedures for assessing noise and vibration impacts are provided for different stages of project development, from early planning through preliminary engineering and final design. For both noise and vibration, three levels of analysis are described including a preliminary impact screening, a general assessment and a detailed analysis. This updated guidance contains models for predicting high-speed train noise and vibration as well as criteria for assessing the magnitude of potential impacts. A range of mitigation measures are described for dealing with adverse noise and vibration impacts. There is a discussion of noise and vibration during the construction stage and also a discussion of how the technical information should be presented in the Federal Railroad Administration’s environmental documents. This guidance will be of interest not only to technical specialists who conduct the analyses but also to project sponsors, Federal agency reviewers, and members of the general public who may be affected by the projects.

Noise Spreadsheet Model

Description of the FRA HSR Initial Noise Evaluation Spreadsheet


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Effective Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012