Technical Reports

The Sound Environment in Locomotive Cabs

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1971
AUTHOR: John P. Aurelius
REPORT NUMBER: FRA-RP-71-2A
SUBJECT: Locomotive Standards (Safety & Noise)
KEYWORDS: Locomotive Noise Levels, Acoustic Measurement and Analysis
ABSTRACT: Measurements of the sound environment in locomotive cabs including audible warnings perceived by crew members are described. Data was collected during two different test runs under diverse conditions, one on the Long Island R.R. and the other on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. The crew's working environment was found to approach the exposure limits set in the Walsh-Healey Public Contract Service Act. Tape recordings from each run indicate the following elements as significant: engine noise, horn sounds and air brake application noise. Data indicate sound level readings taken under various operating conditions in the cab. This study does not include a definition of legal exposure in the cabs, but the noise survey forms presented are useful to compute approximate exposure from observed data. The study suggests that because measurements of noise level in a typical locomotive cab approach the limits allowed in the Walsh-Healey Act, a more detailed survey would be desirable to determine whether exposures do exceed legal limits , and if so under what conditions. Forms of frequency analysis used in the study are also explained.

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