Other Reports

High-Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 1998
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBJECT: High-Speed Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: Intercity Corridors, Maglev, Rail Technology, National Environmental Policy Act, HGST
ABSTRACT: This manual provides procedures for the assessment of potential noise and vibration impacts resulting from proposed high-speed ground transportation (HSGT) projects, including high-speed rail using traditional steel-wheel on steel-rail technology and magnetically levitated (maglev) systems. This document reflects the result of research conducted for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and is presented as part of FRA’s efforts to promote the consideration of HSGT as a transportation option in those intercity corridors where it has the potential to be a cost effective and environmentally sound component of the intermodal transportation system. The National Environmental Policy Act and related statutes, regulations and orders (NEPA) mandate consideration of potential impacts on the human and natural environment as part of the decision making process when Federal agencies evaluate proposals to fund or otherwise approve major actions. Most states have similar environmental review requirements. Experience during previous environmental impact reviews of high-speed rail projects has shown that possible increases in noise and vibration are frequently among the potential impacts of most concern to residents in the vicinity of the proposed project. As the interest in HSGT grows and environmental review of HSGT projects are initiated in several locations across the country, it becomes clear to FRA that there is a need to provide a standardized set of procedures for the evaluation of noise and vibration impacts. There is also a need to provide guidance to promoters and designers of HSGT projects on ways in which the design of those projects can incorporate measures that address these concerns. And there is a need for providing a means through which public agency reviewers of projects can determine where and to what extent the public benefits of HSGT justify investment in impact mitigation. This manual attempts to fulfill these needs.
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