Vehicle noise reduction

People who live and work in the immediate vicinity of railways are affected by noise pollution on a daily basis.

As part of a global drive to improve the environment, many countries are now introducing stricter noise limits. By working together, we can help you to tackle vehicle noise pollution at source, meeting your business needs and ensuring compliance with international standards.

In addition, Ricardo has one of the world’s leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) teams, with an established track record of exceptionally high quality vehicle engineering achievement across products ranging from passenger cars to coaches, trucks and off-highway equipment. We can map out NVH transmission paths and design or re-engineer vehicles to create the acoustic characteristics and features desired to optimize passenger comfort.

How we can help

  • Support — we support the preparation, implementation and monitoring of noise-reduction programmes across vehicle fleets and infrastructure
  • Analysis — the influence of noise-reduction measures on Life Cycle Costs (LCC)
  • Full system experience — we have the ability to optimize environmental issues over an entire rail system
  • Branding — key platform attributes centred upon providing the best possible noise and vibration characteristics by using Ricardo’s robust process based on many years’ of experience and a full tool set for sound quality optimization
  • Concept studies — vehicle, system and component target setting; scope agreed with customer before project start
  • Risk management — a comprehensive test-based and CAE toolset is available to understand the noise and vibration transfers from powertrain raft to chassis to cabin, and to generate potential solutions for selection by the customer before any intrusive measures are taken
  • Design support — the Ricardo noise and vibration process is proven and has been applied in many different transportation market sectors: passenger car, commercial vehicles, off-highway, marine and rail. NVH issues can be very difficult and expensive to correct in completed vehicles
  • Simulation — Ricardo philosophy is to use the simplest model appropriate and increase complexity only when necessary, and simulation tools are used to optimize the mounting strategy of the powertrain in its raft, and of the raft in the vehicle
  • Development — Ricardo’s process tools can be used to develop improvements and countermeasures
  • Validation — implementation of concept-level countermeasures into prototype hardware, followed by comparison and correlation of model to measurements
  • Launch support — consequences of an ineffective noise and vibration development programme can create negative publicity at vehicle launch and unhappy clients, causing lost sales and a damaged image. Modifying built vehicles to correct NVH problems is both extremely expensive and time consuming. Ricardo’s robust processes used at concept through design to validation and launch will ensure a quiet, smooth and well-received product on launch

What are the benefits?

  • The application of new techniques and technology gives clear reductions in noise levels — a legal requirement in many areas 
  • Reduced noise measures can also lead to substantial cost savings
  • Results of LCC analyses can be used to define national policies and are instrumental in demonstrating the benefits of implementing noise-reduction measures
  • National policies on noise reduction can be defined based on sound advice, increasing industry and societal acceptance and their practical application

Recent projects 

  • We provided technical leadership in the Whispering Train programme in Europe aimed at achieving significant reduction of noise pollution, and are currently involved in long-term noise reduction tests being carried out in the Netherlands with a fully operational freight train
  • The Dutch Ministry of Transport commissioned us to determine the influence of noise-reduction measures on the Life Cycle Costs of freight wagons. The results are forming the basis of practical government policy decisions and a persuasive argument for the introduction of low-noise measures in the freight sector

Contact us

To find out more about Ricardo Rail and the services we offer, or if you are thinking about a career with us, please get in touch. We are always keen to hear from others with an interest in the rail sector.​