Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail


User interfaces (Computer science), Simulation, Rapid transit, Railways, Railroads, Railroad cars, Rail transit, Noise pollution, Noise, Mathematical models, Man computer interfaces, Locomotives, Human computer interfaces, Heavy rail transit, Computer simulation, Computer interfaces


The Railway Noise Model (RWNM) was developed at the University of Central Florida and predicts sound levels at receivers near railway operations for analyses used in environmental documents. The RWNM is a simulation model, and trains are modeled as moving point sources of sound. The user can create model objects, tracks, barriers, and receivers, using either the mouse of spreadsheet interfaces. During simulation, the user observes trains moving along railways and the relationships to receiver locations. The RWNM simulates a 24-h period of rail traffic and computes day/night sound pressure level (Ldn), maximum sound pressure level (Lmax), sound exposure level (SEL), and equivalent sound pressure level (Seq) at the receivers. The RWNM uses REMEL (reference energy mean emission levels) curves based on Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reported Lmax pass-by levels for locomotives and rail cars. In addition, the model has the ability to model heavy rail locomotives and rail cars, which makes it applicable to Federal Railroad Administration projects. Testing has shown that the RWNM results match those of the FTA-approved spreadsheet, although heavy rail validation is limited.