A sound solution for a rail corridor

In the last few years Hebel has been involved in a range of utility projects that have required creative problem solving. Here we take a look at a noise control initiative in the Hunter Valley.

During 2012 a problem was identified – to help meet the growing demand of coal producers in the Hunter Valley, rail speed and volume needed to increase along the Gunnedah Railway Corridor. This would increase noise emissions, impacting townships along the rail corridor.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) was looking for a noise mitigation solution that would reduce the noise pollution and transmission caused by increased speed and traffic along the Gunnedah Rail Corridor.

In order to reduce the noise transmission, Hebel SoundBarrier was successfully adopted throughout the Upper Hunter freight corridor. The design, supply and installation of a Hebel noise wall, with Reapor absorbency panels in sections was undertaken.

The use of Hebel was specified due to its ease and speed of construction as well as its ability to reduce acoustic transmission. This wall formation works both to decrease overall noise level and to decrease high frequency noise emissions.

A key part of the brief was also the use of designs on the barrier. On noise walls three and four, design features sympathetic to the local environment were incorporated into the barrier.

These designs incorporated motifs with meaning to the communities of the upper Hunter Valley and, specifically, the township of Gunnedah.

These Australian motifs seemed especially fitting for the town that inspired Dorothea Mackellar’s classic ode to Australia I Love a Sunburnt Country.

The project was a resounding success. The Hebel product itself is lightweight, easy to handle and fast to install. This enabled the project to be completed in a timely and efficient manner in accordance with the program of works.

The installation, throughout the Gunnedah Rail Corridor, reduced the noise pollution caused by trains entering and exiting Gunnedah. This significantly eased the impact of the increased volume of traffic on the rails for the people of the surrounding area.


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