Deutsche Bahn plans to fit 50% of its freight car fleet with what is known as a ‘whisper brake’ by the end of the year. But it is not just braking that generates noise, the wheels of rail vehicles are also susceptible to vibrations.

"For this reason, ContiTech is working on solutions that focus on this weak point and thus facilitate smoother running," says Olaf Philipp, head of ContiTech Railway Engineering. "By using different technologies, we can help to further lower the noise level on heavily frequented railway lines, thereby reducing noise exposure for residents."

Suspension systems and rubber-metal parts from ContiTech help to further reduce noise in freight transport, including by means of integrated hydraulic damping. A system made up of wheelset mounts and hydraulic springs thus facilitates much smoother running.

Tests performed on test tracks reveal a noise reduction of 2.5dB to 3dB, roughly half of the previous noise level. At the same time, the system also minimises wear on the wheels and bogie. "We are working on a further development in order to launch the system on railway lines," reports Olaf Philipp.