Whether goods or passenger transportation, route operators, rail vehicle manufacturers, and politicians all want one thing: low-noise railway transportation. ContiTech has been addressing this matter for some time now and is involved in research projects aimed at reducing noise levels in rail transportation. The specialist in air springs already offers systems that use different technologies to reduce noise levels on busy railway lines and, in turn, minimise the impact on residents.

For example, systems comprising wheelset mounts and hydraulic springs ensure much smoother running. Integrated in a shared axle housing, the components interact to minimise wear on the tracks, wheels, and bogie. They also reduce noise levels in railway transportation. Tests performed on test tracks have shown that the noise can be reduced by 2.5dB to 3dB – in other words roughly by half.

Less noise on busy railway lines and minimal impact on residents: ContiTech already offers a range of systems that use different technologies to reduce noise levels in railway transportation.

Mount elements from anti-vibration technology make railway transportation quieter. A wide range of different solutions is possible, from individual rubber components through to complete mount systems. To minimise the noise generated by urban subways and trams, for example, ContiTech – in collaboration with partner companies – developed a support point bearing for the track. It is installed between the threshold and the track, where it reduces the vibrations generated by passing trams. Not only does it reduce noise, it also minimises vibrations and prevents them from being transmitted to buildings. "In heavily built-up urban regions, this is a real boon," says Stefan Narberhaus, head of industry development at ContiTech Vibration Control.

Even in rail vehicles themselves, bearings from ContiTech reduce oscillations and vibrations. The engines, add-on units, equipment, and other devices in subway trains, commuter trains, and high-speed trains rest on spring elements made of rubber and metal bearings. The elastic mount elements not only absorb static loads and engine torque but also insulate low-frequency vibrations and structure-borne noise. Smaller versions are ideal for more lightweight applications such as mounting air-conditioning units, while larger types can even be used for mounting drive engines.