Notes from Tube noise meeting Monday 9th September 2019
Attending: Andrew Dismore AM, Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander, A representative from TfL and 5 residents.
48dB (southbound) and 45dB (northbound) are the latest noise measurements here. Residents asked what measures are being taken to reduce noise.
The Deputy Mayor responded saying that a new speed restriction had been introduced since the weekend of 23/24 August on the night tube at Fitzrovia, and new measurements will be taken of noise levels. TfL are investigating a new track fastening product made by Delkor, which is being tested at Pimlico. It will be fitted between October and March, with testing over 3-6 months. If this is successful, TfL will look to roll out at other sites, and have a list of the top 10 largest areas of complaints for in-car noise. ACTION: TfL will send Andrew Dismore AM the list of priority areas for in-car noise.
TfL confirmed that the test involved installing Flat-bottom rail on rubber pads (resilient rubber mounts) on wooden sleepers. He said they had measures noise in carriages at 119 DB.
Residents said they had not heard the benefits of the speed restriction and expressed scepticism at the timeframe in which TfL were projecting that work would be done, and that they would wait around 18 months for any improvements.
In January 2018 noise started after concrete sleepers were installed between Finchley Central and West Finchley. The Noise has since reduced slightly. The resident asked why trains have not been slowed as they travel around the bend in the line, whether the southbound line was being upgraded, and requested a site visit.
TfL confirmed that the friction modifier was installed and switched on, but then was switched off because the Northern Line train brakes are at the limit of their capacity. TfL confirmed that trains were not being slowed down, as this had a severe impact on their ability to run the service but agreed to look at doing so during the night tube. It was agreed to undertake a site visit before Christmas to look at the issue with senior officers on site.
Residents complained that they were not getting tube noise reports back, which TfL agreed to look into. They said that there had been success originally with Pandrol Vanguard pads. They felt that the issue had got worse because they had dealt with the problem, closed the cases then not monitored how things had gone afterwards. TfL gave an undertaking that they would return to take more noise measurements. They believe that noise here is due to corrugation on the rail. They believe it may be the case that the impact of PV installation has been to increase the formation of rail corrugation. They have now fixed the ventilation situation, which means that the grinding machine can now operate here. The Bank Line branch will be ground in October; however they cannot install PV on the Charing Cross Line branch and are awaiting the result of the aforementioned Pimlico trial.
Residents said that things had improved initially, and in many cases substantially, but things have since got worse for some residents. TfL have agreed to go back and take noise measurements.
Andrew Dismore AM raised the issue of cases being closed down when TfL felt they couldn’t action a case further, rather than when customers felt TfL had remedied the situation. ACTION: TfL agreed to review cases recorded as closed due to TfL having exercised all practicable means to resolve the complaint. This review will ensure these cases were not closed prematurely, and that residents were appropriately communicated with. (NOTE- AD disputes this action was agreed at the meeting)