Federal government and railways invested around 150 million in noise protection in 2021

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Balance on the „Day against Noise“: Around 32,800 people relieved of rail noise in 2021 alone – noise is reduced on site and directly at the source

Kiefersfelden noise barrier
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Berlin, 27 April 2022 –  Noise abatement on the railways is making progress: on the occasion of the „Day against Noise“, Deutsche Bahn (DB) reports in the „Noise Abatement Balance Sheet 2021“ published today that around 32,800 more residents along the railway lines were relieved of noise last year. In 2021, DB and the federal government invested a total of around 150 million euros as part of the federal government’s voluntary noise abatement programme. This enabled a further 71 kilometres of railway line to be noise-abated. DB and the federal government want to relieve around 3,250 kilometres of track from rail traffic noise by 2030.

Andreas Gehlhaar, DB Noise Abatement Officer: „We are making our trains quieter and consistently pushing ahead with noise abatement. Our common goal: By 2030, more than 800,000 people living near railway lines in Germany will live and sleep more quietly.“

Michael Theurer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport: „In order to achieve our climate protection goals in transport, we urgently need to expand and extend the rail network. A rapid expansion can only succeed with the necessary acceptance of local residents. For the Federal Government, noise protection along the railways is therefore a top priority.“

By 2050, a total of around 6,500 kilometres will be relieved of noise. This means that all 1.6 million affected residents will benefit from noise protection. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, DB will continue to rely on two proven pillars and reduce noise both on site and directly at the source.

Noise protection directly on site is primarily provided by noise barriers along the line. Since 1999, around 2,100 kilometres of railway lines have been noise-reduced through the federal government’s voluntary noise abatement programme. Around 1.75 billion euros have been invested in this. The money was also used to equip tens of thousands of homes with passive noise protection such as special windows.

After DB Cargo’s entire active freight wagon fleet in Germany has been running on „silent soles“ since the end of 2020, the braking systems of DB Cargo’s electric mainline locomotives will be modernised by 2025. The company will also phase out all class 232/233 diesel locomotives by 2030. And DB Fernverkehr will replace all diesel-powered shunting locomotives with quiet and climate-friendly hybrid models by 2025.

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