AGM - continued . . .

Animal welfare is a new field of studies. In Northern Europe, U.K. and Canada there are twice as many researchers as in the USA. Dr. Weary answered many questions from the floor and received a hearty applause. Hans thanked Dr. Weary for this most interesting presentation and presented him with a Right to Quiet T-shirt as a token appreciation for his kind effort.

Mr. Brian Price was next to address the meeting with his concerns about noise from small aircraft flying to and from the harbour over residential areas of Vancouver toward the Interntl. Airport and beyond. Air traffic has dramatically increased in recent years. Also, many planes and helicopters fly very low and cause lots of annoyance to residents. Mr. Price has already contacted the Airport Authority and Transport Canada about this problem to no avail so far. He has started a small group to work on this issue and asked for our society's support. Hans pledged to provide what relevant information we have to him and help in what other way possible. He will keep in touch with us.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

Legal Assistance Fund ready

In fall 2003 we finalised the criteria and conditions of our Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), posted the information and application form on our website and announced it in our Fall 2003 and Winter 2004 newsletters. This Fund was set up to assist people with litigation in certain circumstances.

To date we had no inquiries, though, we hope this effort was not in vain and sooner or later somebody with a persistent noise problem will be able to benefit from it. Without access to the Internet (and our website: www.quiet.org ), please contact us.

Trains louder than expected
Traffic technology fFederal Environment Bureau (FEB) of Germany checks possibilities to make train traffic quieter.

13,000 times researchers measured the noise of a thundering train passing by before the collaborators of the FEB in Berlin knew that there can be worlds of difference between theory and reality. An ICE (rapid inter-city train)or a freight train can be twice as loud as calculated. The dimension of noise-protection walls is so far based on theoretic sound levels. This means that in practice people who live behind a noise-protection wall can be exposed to more noise than was officially established to be acceptable.

When tracks are mounted on wooden ties, the passing trains are about 2 dB quieter than when rolling over tracks on concrete ties. On high-speed sections with a "solid (road) base" instead of a broken-stone bed, the noise rises by 3 more decibels (compared with that on concrete ties) maintain the theorists. For that reason, the railway company places absorbers on the solid base, which are supposed to reduce the noise by 3 dB to the concrete-ties level.

However, when FEB checked the hypothetic levels, the absorbers were found to attenuate by only 2 dB, while inter-city and freight trains thunder over a solid base without absorbers with an additional 4 dB. According to that, even with absorbers, trains on a solid base are 2 dB louder than on concrete ties and 4 dB louder than on wooden ties.

Based on these findings, FEB now demands that future noise-protection measures be oriented on the reality of the measuring campaign instead of the theory, which to prepare the FEB had participated. The noise could also be considerably reduced through grinding the tracks every two years. The cast-iron brake blocks, often used on freight trains, particularly loud and hard to attenuate, would have to be replaced with quieter disk brakes as soon as possible. Darmstaedter Echo, Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2004
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