UBC Undergraduate Research

The effect of freight trains on noise pollution in the British Columbia Lower Mainland Giacchetto, Maruska; Jiang, Vivian (XiuXiu); McDougall, Kelsey; Phaisaltantiwongs, Mina


On August 21st 2014, Port Metro Vancouver approved an increase of US thermal coal train traffic along the BNSF rail line enroute to Fraser Surrey Docks. As a result of the anticipated increase in U.S. thermal coal trains, health concerns have been expressed by our community partner, Communities and Coal, a group of citizens in the communities surrounding the BNSF rail line (Delta, White Rock, Crescent Beach and Surrey). In order to address these concerns, current noise pollution data was collected at four different sites along the BNSF rail line in 24-­‐hour time intervals from the time period of November 2014 to March 2015 using an EXTECH Sound Level Data Logger. Each site was monitored twice. The observed equivalent continuous sound levels (Leq-­‐16 and Leq-­‐24 ) for all sites and trials are seen to exceed the 55 dBA noise guidelines (Canada Mortgage and Housing, 1981). Thus, it is likely that increases in train traffic will further escalate the sound levels beyond the current guidelines.

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