Author(s): Maclachlan Laura, Ögren Mikael, Van Kempen Elise, Hussain Laith, Persson Waye Kerstin
Rail transportation forms a core component of the move to achieving more sustainable modes of transport and its capacity is likely to increase in future decades. Little is known about the consequences of exposure to vibrations from rail for populations whose living environment is in close proximity to railways. This paper presents findings from a large epidemiological study, EpiVib, and examines the distance from the railway at which residents notice and are annoyed by vibrations from passing trains.\nThe study population was selected from residents living close to the railway in the Västra Götaland, Värmland and Örebro regions of Sweden. Areas within 1km of a trafficked railway were selected to include both an exposed and control population with a range of vibration exposures. Addresses and residents were identified via the Swedish land registry and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare respectively. Ethical permission was granted by the Swedish Central Ethical Review Board in Gothenburg in August 2016. Up to two residents between the ages of 18-80 years in each household were randomly selected. Questionnaires were sent to 35,011 individuals. In total 6,922 (response rate 19.8%) were included.\nAnalysis is ongoing. Full results will be presented at Euronoise. Initial analysis shows a correlation between distance and frequency of noticing vibrations. Participants notice vibrations more often with closer proximity. In total, 49.2% of residents within 100m of the railway notice vibrations every day and 72.4% at least once a week. Annoyance differed by train type. Freight trains were considered most annoying and were statistically significantly annoying and severely annoying at a distance of 300m after adjustment for confounders. Passenger trains were significantly annoying at a distance of 200m.\nFindings here have implications for building regulations and will be of interest to transport and infrastructure authorities.
Name: Dr Laura Maclachlan