Paris Conference 2016



Peter Tschada, Dipl. – Ing Architekt – Orange Architekten & Anna Weber, Dipl. – Ing Architekt – Orange Architekten

C-Shell noise attenuation for railway tracks

Low­built noise attenuation for railway tracks
An interdisciplinary team of architects, acoustic scientists and undercarriage designers has created a system that functions radically different from conventional sound­ insulation walls: the sound is no longer absorbed by the walls themselves, but rather by the ballast.

This effect is brought about by c-­shaped plates whose opening faces towards the train’s undercarriage and tracks. The bent plates catch the outward propagating sound and reflect it back into the ballast where it is absorbed by the gravel. The different acoustic mechanics of the structure allow the individual members to feature plain, and therefore sound reflecting, surfaces, thus facilitating the large-scale application of acrylic glass panels and wooden material of minimal thickness and comparably little weight.

Model calculations

Extensive acoustic model calculations have borne out, that this system achieves noise attenuation comparable to that of conventional upright absorbing sound­ insulation walls of the same height. This is also the case for lines with multiple tracks.

Panel­ and shell ­shapes are used to meet the static requirements: The self-supporting structure can be erected over intervals of up to twelve meters, thus necessitating fewer supporting and base members, so that one act of crane ­lifting will suffice to install twelve meters of sound ­insulating wall for a line.

A construction height of only two meters from the upper edge of the track is sufficient to guarantee the necessary noise reduction, which means the construction leaves an unobstructed view for passengers, as it does not even reach up to the lower frame of a train’s windows.

For the first time, Deutsche Bahn AG is testing now the C­Shell system by orange architects in Passau, near the Austrian border.

(further infos:

See full programme Noise & Vibrations

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