Tube noise [3]

MQT on 2018-07-19
Session date: 
July 19, 2018
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


We are told by a Transport for London (TfL) press release that 'state-of-the-art technology' will increase the lifespan of the Elizabeth line with a rail milling train and two multi-purpose engineering trains, with delivery to London later this year. TfL says:

'The 48 metre long rail milling train is the first of its kind to be used in the UK rail industry. It is able to scan the rails using electromagnetic crack detection, looking for any defects. If it identifies any issues with the track, it can mill the surface of the rail to remove defects and cracks, reducing wear on the new Elizabeth line train wheels and the tracks'.

If this can be done for the Elizabeth Line, why cannot such a machine be purchased for the Northern Line, to reduce the noise from corrugated rails that is causing such misery to so many people living near the Northern Line: should they not have priority over a track that has not even been used yet?


Answer for Tube noise [3]

Answer for Tube noise [3]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Transport for London (TfL) has rail grinding machines that operate on the Northern line. They manage rail defects on the line, as the milling train will on the Elizabeth line. Both rail grinding and milling remove material from the rail head to smooth the rails. These London Underground grinding machines use ultrasonic technology to measure rail cracks, which are then addressed by rail grinding.

Rail grinding and milling are not effective long-term methods for reducing noise and vibration. Both methods are predominantly used to maximise rail life and reduce the risk of rail defects.