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SkyTrain Noise Study

In response to noise concerns from residents along the Expo and Millennium lines, TransLink recently conducted a multi-step SkyTrain Noise Study. We want to be good neighbours, so we engaged an internationally-recognized acoustic engineer to assess noise levels along the Expo and Millennium lines and to evaluate possible noise-mitigation options.

This work is more important now than ever before as Metro Vancouver continues to grow and more people choose to live near our rapid transit lines. The results of the study will help us identify noise-reduction measures for our 30-year-old system and inform future designs and investments with noise reduction in mind.

First Steps

During the initial assessment, extensive noise measurements were conducted in 10 study areas along the Expo and Millennium lines. The results were used to create a detailed sound model, which highlighted sources of noise that exist in the SkyTrain system and areas most in need of noise-mitigation measures.

The results show that there is relatively little difference in noise levels between train types and that track condition is the main contributor to noise rising to levels above desired thresholds, which is further amplified with higher train speeds. You can find more details in the full report or the summary report.


Next Steps

The next part of the SkyTrain Noise Study is designed to investigate the noise mitigation measures recommended in the 2018 initial assessment report. This will be completed in two phases. 

Phase 1 of the mitigation study is currently underway and expected to run throughout 2019 with some pilot studies likely to extend into 2020.  The scope of Phase 1 is to investigate four of the six mitigation measures. The remaining two measures require a longer study period to investigate and will be addressed in Phase 2, starting in 2020. See the fall 2019 SkyTrain Noise Study project update report.


State of Good Repair

While the SkyTrain Noise Study progresses, TransLink is committed to ensuring we provide a safe and quality customer experience. Our annual rail grinding program covers over 130 kilometres of running rail per year. Grinding addresses rail areas in need of re-profiling and defect removal. Our annual grinding program prolongs the life of the rail, improves ride quality and lessens noise for customers and our neighbours.

For more information, please email noisestudy@translink.ca.