Tube noise, Northern Line near Finchley Central

MQT on 2018-09-13
Session date: 
September 13, 2018
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Many residents have complained about the almost continuous (every two or three minutes) extremely loud and prolonged screeching noise coming from the Northern Line near Finchley Central at all hours the tube is operating. The prime source of this noise appears to be the bend in the track north-east of Finchley Central, but also along the tracks that have been replaced, both on the Barnet and Mill Hill East lines. This noise started after the bank holiday engineering works this year, during which Transport for London replaced the track bed with granite ballast, replaced the northbound rails, and installed new concrete sleepers. Automated train operation may be exacerbating the noise as trains approach the corner more aggressively than before. What will you do to tackle this noise which is the result of Transport for London's own works without consideration of the impact on residents nearby?


Answer for Tube noise, Northern Line near Finchley Central

Answer for Tube noise, Northern Line near Finchley Central

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL engineers consider any possible noise and vibration implications before undertaking all track renewals.

In the Finchley Central area, the cause of the noise is the result of the interaction between the wheel and the rail. This type of noise is difficult to predict, however TfL’s view is that it has been exacerbated by this summer’s hot and dry weather rather than the use of Automatic Train Operation on this line. This type of sound primarily occurs on manually driven lines such as the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines.

TfL is commissioning the installation of a top-of-rail friction modifier (a substance which improves the interaction between the wheel and the rail) with the aim of reducing the sound at this curve. The installation is planned to be complete by November 2018.