Gautrain tunnels: Surface vibration and ground-borne noise

Van Niekerk J.L. ; Morgan J.P.L. ; Cosijn D. (2004)


The proposed Gautrain Rapid Rail Link (GRRL) will require approximately 15 km of double or twin high-speed rail track tunnels located for the greater part beneath the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, including Houghton, Rosebank and Sandton. During the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) it became clear that potential surface vibration above and in the vicinity of the tunnels was a matter of serious concern to the residents of the affected properties and that the impact required assessment. The general method proposed is based on a US Department of Transportation, 1998, publication in which a base vibration curve derived for typical high-speed passenger trains is adjusted for the topological, geological and other features to predict the surface vibration and the associated ground-borne noise The predictions indicate that some isolated areas might be impacted but that the impact will likely be limited, and it is possible to mitigate the impact using suitable track construction methods and track support systems.

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