Photo credit: Dr. Daniel Fink

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

On a recent trip to Norway, we took the train from the airport to the main train station in Oslo. There was a quiet car with silence requested in that car.

More notably, the sound pressure level in the entire train was below 70 decibels. Compared to subway trains in New York City, London, Paris, and San Francisco, that’s whisper quiet. I didn’t have to insert my earplugs and I could converse with my wife.

A Google search about quiet rail cars in Norway was a rare internet search failure.

I don’t know how the Norwegians accomplish this miracle, whether from rubber tires, rubber ties, smoother longer track sections, or better sound insulation of the cars, but to me the most important thing is the “proof of concept.”

If a rail system wants to make its trains quieter, it should know that this is entirely possible. The Vy system in Oslo, Norway already does this.

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