10 October 2013

ARTC Noise Abatement Committee 8th October

Enviroline 1300785747

I attended this meeting this week as a proxy for Mitcham Council.
I asked a few questions regarding Goodwood Junction. These included; why is the freight line now noisier and the squeal increased? The first response was that the freight line works are yet to be signed off  and handed to ARTC for ongoing maintenance, ie this is DPTI's problem. Seems the problem is that no-one wants to take responsibility at this time. However, I was assure when it was signed over that  ARTC would be the right people to call, hence the phone number above. My suggestion is to ring everyday and complain and get as many people as you can to ring with the same message.
However, I did get an explanation as to why this might have occurred. The lines themselves are aligned as close together as possible when built as they move further apart over time. With wooden sleepers there is greater absorbency of the vibration and noise as compared to concrete sleepers. From what I can gather no base line noise monitoring has been done by ARTC (although I recall that Theiss York had some data) so comparison's can be made. I did not feel better when I was told this might take 20 years!!
Some noise management studies in New South Wales have investigated using different fasteners, clips and pads that allow concrete to more closely mimic wood and a study underway at Heathfield is investigating the effectiveness of rail lubrication. So when at last ARTC recognise they have a problem there is some guidance as to what to try that might reduce the noise. The alternative is treatment of properties to help prevent the existing noise form entering.


  1. I just read your article about the above and would like to relay my experiences with both DPTI & ARTC in relation to this matter.

    We live near the rail line and have done for 35 or so years (my husband for nearly 60 yrs) and have never heard the trains screeching like they are now, neighbours have the same thoughts, so I rang DPTI, who said that it was ARTC’s responsibility, so I called the number & left a message, they in turn phoned me back and said they needed to know the time of day, date and what sort of train it was, I said this was impossible as I do not live that close to the train line, but the person that called me said that it was the train drivers fault, which surprised me, but they said to ring and leave a message when it happened again. Even though I have heard the screeching regularly I hadn’t bothered to phone back again until a few nights ago (possibly Monday), as my husband really noticed how bad it was and when they called me back the next day ARTC denied that there was any trains at that time or day.
    The screeching is very, very audible, sometimes it is nearly at a distressing level. As we have lived here for so long, we have not ever noticed the noise from the trains before – you just get used to it and it’s not noticeable, but this new screeching is totally different.

    I remember either reading or maybe being told at an Open Day that they were re-aligning the track to cut the noise down, it seems as if they got this one wrong as well as many other things.

  2. Why don't ARTC fit some microphones in the Goodwood area to monitor train noise so that there is a factual basis to noise complaints?

  3. My understanding is that they will do this, if enough people complain, after the project is handed over to them. Despite us being told it is ARTC's problem the reality is that it is DPTI's problem at the moment and they are refusing to acknowledge this.