Comparison of Results From The STEAM Rail Noise Model to Potential Alternatives
The “Sound from Trains Environmental Analysis Method” (STEAM) for rail noise prediction, created by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (now the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks), has been in use in Ontario since 1990 and is endorsed not only at the provincial level in Ontario but also by the Canada Transportation Agency (CTA) for use in sound level predictions as they relate to complaint resolution for federally regulated railways.
This paper presents a high-level comparison of the sound level predictions from the STEAM model to those currently in use in the United States – namely the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railway Administration (FRA) models. The comparison looks at the sensitivity of the models to a number of variables with a focus on sound emission characteristics. The investigation gives specific consideration to the impact of source selection (type of locomotive, type of car, etc) on the sound level predictions.
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