UNBEARABLE TRACK NOISE-- WHO'S TO BLAME??

philo_beddo's picture

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRACK NOISE

NOISY TRACKS--THIS PROBLEM DATES BACK TO WHEN BART WAS FIRST DESIGNED AND BUILT BY INCOMPETENT WESTINGHOUSE ENGINEERS IN A $100 MILLION+ PUBLIC UTILITIES FIASCO.

This noise is INTENTIONAL!
DON'T BELIEVE THE LIES PERPETRATED BY BART SPOKESPEOPLE AND SFGATE.

http://www.pushback.com/Wattenburg/bio/BART.html

philo_beddo's picture

This is an old story from SFGATE which claims that BART employees grind the tracks every night in an attempt to combat track noise. Don't believe it. According to Wattenburg, they grind to remove rust so the tracking system will remain operational. (See above post).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/10/BAG0CL2UIU1.DTL

Did you even read the entire Wattenburg article at Pushback? It says BART eventually adopted Wattenburg's suggested modifications to their train control system, and then sued Westinghouse. This only happened after the State passed legislation requiring the BART Board be directly elected, and the new Board fired BART General Manager Bill Stokes. I'm not defending the original BART management, nor am I critical of Wattenburg. His suggestions were implemented, and rust on the rails is no longer an issue. Track noise is primarily a function of rail corrugation, at least on tangent track, and grinding is the only way to abate corrugation. If you are going to make these wild unsubstantiated claims, at least read and understand your own sources.

TreoBART's picture

You get a round of applause, sir.

philo_beddo's picture

Ok wiseguy "Bartonymous." Yes i did read the entire article. Yes i did make some wild unsubstantiated claims. I'm just trying to provoke some thoughts, and I'm glad I succeeded in that. The main issue isn't rust, it's the damn noise, and one thing i'm 100% positive about is that we are NOT being told the truth.

Urethane wheels anyone??

boopiejones's picture

i think we discussed urethane rollercoaster style wheels a few weeks ago. i'm not an engineer, but there was something about electricity getting transferred from the wheels to the track that isn't possible with urethane/rubber.

Bike2Bart's picture

Some days the noise inside the Transbay Tube is unbearable, I almost want to cover my ears. I can't imagine what the decibel level must be. I hear it is even worse for the operators in the cab.

I find some trains are much better than others so I'm thinking the train wheels also have something to do with it. It is pretty unbearable for me too, even with headphones on. Still have to ride BART though.

The wheels do produce some unique sounds. BART has an special wheel design with a steel rim attached to an aluminum hub. The design is intended to reduce weight, but it has an unusual property of producing sounds in the human hearing range ... the number is 800, I don't remember if it's MHz, KHz, Hz, or mHz. Some sort of vibration would have to start the resonance, so I think we're back to rail corrugations. Also, BART has solid axles, so if the train is going around any sort of curve, that will produce noise. That's why the Oakland Wye is so noisy, even at low speeds. And the TBT has 3 or 4 horizontal curves.

Shrapnel's picture

Where are the horizontal curves, Bartonymous? Is one right after the ventilation shaft?

Yes, Shrapnel ... westbound, the first major curve is shortly after the Oakland Vent structure, and turns to the left, or towards the west. The second major curve is also to the left or toward the west (when headed westbound), and occurs midway between the two Bay Bridge towers to the west of Yerba Buena Island. Sorry I took so long to answer your question, but sometimes it's weeks between times I can access this site.

ummm... maybe it's all the herb making the trains sound so loud?

When BART opened it was fairly quiet. You could barely hear it at my parent's house, about seven blocks from an elevated section. But now it's so loud you can clearly hear it inside even though they've added double-pane windows and insulation over the years. I'm sure it's a combination of track and wheel maintenance.

well if they wouild stop fare evaders the extra revenue could go to soundproofing the cars.