We undertake noise control measures whenever and wherever people and nature need protection from the effects of rail noise. Soundproofing residential buildings and public facilities such as hospitals, schools and playschools is particularly important.
Our measures to reduce noise are based on Germany's pollution control legislation (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz: see the transport ministry's website for further information) and the country's guidelines for calculating rail vehicles' noise emissions. These set out rules for reducing noise when constructing new lines or making major alterations to existing ones, and they also contain binding limits for noise emissions. Independent experts carry out mandatory noise studies, and the S4 project has its own noise control expert who identifies protective measures based on noise levels at a given location.
Film about active and passive noise protection
Please note: The division of planning approval section 2 into sections A and B is not official and simply serves to improve clarity.
In addition to noise control measures, local residents will also benefit from steps to counteract vibrations generated by the S4. Innovative technologies such as padded sleepers – special concrete sleepers with a plastic coating – will reduce the level of vibrations entering the ballast bed and then escaping into the track's surroundings.
Ballast troughs will also be installed at certain locations. These are concrete troughs that serve as a foundation for special elastic ballast mats. Ballast is laid on the mats and then the sleepers and tracks go on top. The mats dampen the vibrations caused by trains because they eliminate emission frequencies that have a negative impact on their surroundings.