Deutsche Bahn announced its interim goal along with the company’s annual noise control report. By 2025 all 850 electric locomotives will be fitted with quiet disc brakes. 90 percent of these locomotives are already equipped in this way. The remaining ten percent of vehicles have now been given a deadline.
Moving forward, the company will only purchase freight cars with noise protection components, which will further reduce any noise pollution caused by freight trains.
By 2030 DB Cargo will phase out its Class 232/233 diesel locomotives. These locomotives were imported into East Germany (during its time as the GDR) from the Soviet Union. They have been in service for more than 50 years and have now reached the end of their lifespan.
As a second pillar for noise reduction, an investment of several million euros is going towards implementing noise-protection measures along the railway lines. The noise report just published states that noise pollution from the railway has been cut in half last year, by equipping all freight trains with quiet ‘whisper’ brakes and as a result of the federal programme to implement noise protection measures. By the end of 2020 more than 2,000km had treated in this way (2019: 1,844km). More than 75km of new noise barriers were erected last year for an investment of 146 million euros. And around 1,500 homes also received noise-protection measures.