Meeting with TfL re tube noise Finchley Central  11/12/18


Andrew Dismore AM

Arjun Mittra 

Cllr Ross Houston


Jan and David Loxley Blount

Jestyn Phillips

David Lewis

Stevie Dee


 Dominc Trueman (engineer)

Tom Tweddle

Rachel Harkes

Finchley Central

  • Residents said noise from the tube had increased since works took place over the summer.  While some said there had been some improvement more recently, the situation now is certainly worse than before the works took place. Noise levels are 64Db, and with open windows 76 Db. Residents did not accept TfL only measuring noise with closed windows- it was not fair to expect windows to be closed in Summer.
  • One resident raised concern that the removal of trees by the line or the seasonal loss of leaves from trees had exacerbated noise levels
  • TfL’s Engineer said that the increase in noise was largely due to the new rail (rather than the installation of new sleepers as some had thought). Such noise is not unexpected with new rail which rougher and a stiffer rail profile.
  • Since August 2018 TfL have applied additional lubrication to the northbound track near the curve at Finchley Central and they say that recent noise measurements they have taken in the local area demonstrate that this has significantly reduced noise levels by around 10dB
  • TfL’s Engineer explained how noise might be abated with a friction modifier. The technology has helped abate noise impact in other areas and the friction modifier units were installed in October.  However, owing to an ongoing braking performance issue they are having problems getting approval to use them from rolling stock supervisors which is still being discussed. An update will be provided in the new year.
  • AD suggested they should look at speed reductions in the interim, as if trains are going slower then presumably safety risk issues form the friction modifier would not be there. In any event, slower trains would presumably generate less noise in the first place TfL will discuss this with the timetable supervisors. TfL will also consult its timetabling department about reducing the speed of trains between Finchley Central and West Finchley, and to Mill Hill East. An update will be provided in the new year.
  • A resident complained that TfL had cut down the trees by the side of the track, which had provided a sound barrier. TfL agreed to speak with its vegetation team to explore planting trees between Finchley Central and West Finchley.
  • TfL claimed it is committed to reducing rail noise and recognises that sometimes it takes longer than it – or local residents – would like to see a satisfactory resolution

Updates were provided on the following locations:

Kentish Town

  • The installation of new pads should hopefully abate recent increases in tunnel airborne noise. TfL is hopeful that results will be seen by the end of March 2019.

Camden Town to Kentish Town

  • Readings indicate that noise levels have reduced by around 15dB due the installation of resilient track fastenings. Tests suggest noise down to low 30s Db. Residents still experiencing noise disturbance should register with the TfL Contact Centre and further sound readings will be taken.

Kentish Town to Tufnell Park

  • Tests suggest noise down to low 30s Db. Residents still experiencing noise disturbance should register with the TfL Contact Centre and further sound readings will be taken.

Golders Green

  • Works to remove track joints complete this week (i.e. by 14/12) after which further sound testing will take place.

Mornington Crescent

  • Bank Branch has seen reductions of 7 to 13 DB, to 38/ 36 Db levels. for the Charing Cross branch rail track fastenings have been installed but TfL recognises that some residents have seen increases in noise levels: high 30s and 40s Db. especially Hurdwick Place.  The rail and sleepers and still timber and bull head rail. There have been no significant infrastructure changes in this part of the line and the rail roughness has not increased so it is not clear as to what the cause of the increase is.  TfL are doing an analysis of the rail roughness. TfL will carry out further site visits and report back.
  • At the moment there is no technology to address the issue but TfL continues to look for solutions. TfL have no answer as to what residents should do in these circumstances, but request residents contact their Customer Service Centre on 0343 222 1234 or at to arrange further noise readings.