Micha Köpfli, CEO – N-Sphere AG

sonRAIL Webtool: a new approach to railway noise emission calculation

sonRAIL is a highly accurate Swiss model for railway noise emission and propagation calculations. The high accuracy of the emission model is obtained by taking additional parameters into account such as transfer functions of vehicles and tracks as well as individual site parameters like rail roughness and track type.


With the sonRAIL Webtool the emission model was made available for a wide range of users. It allows calculation of individual railway vehicles and entire track sections. Furthermore it provides interfaces to define individual vehicle types and track parameters. In the newest version it offers functionality for list calculations to compute the emissions of entire route networks at once.

The web tool was developed for engineers, planners and public authorities for the purpose of assessing specific noise situations, evaluating noise prevention measures at the source, and exchanging and expanding the existing knowledge base.

Noise calculation

The sonRAIL Webtool is property of the Federal Office of Environment of Switzerland (FOEN) and was developed by n­Sphere AG; the website is hosted at https:\\sonrail.empa.ch by Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science. Access to the web tool can be requested by public persons and organisations at Empa (sonrail@empa.ch). The sonRAIL noise calculation model itself was developed on behalf of the FOEN. The measurements have been organized by PROSE Ltd. The emission model was engineered by the University of Technology Berlin and the sound propagation method by Empa. A german documentation of sonRAIL is available under www.empa.ch/sonrail.

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