Decibase RAIL - the future of railroad noise database

The requirements for the collection, management and submission of emission data have increased for railroad companies in recent years. With "Decibase RAIL", Grolimund + Partner now offers a tool that supports railroads in this work and manages noise-relevant data centrally in a modern web application. As the first railroad in Switzerland, Regionalverkehr Bern-Solothurn (RBS) will put Decibase RAIL into operation from 2022.

Decibase RAIL - the future of railroad noise database

Noise register at the push of a button

Decibase RAIL enables railroad companies to manage their noise pollution register in accordance with legal requirements. The application manages both the rail sections and their characteristics as well as the rolling stock running on them (train compositions, brake types, etc.).

Emission sections can be selected by the user in the map or via search. Decibase RAIL shows the characteristics of the section, the traffic volume and the noise pollution calculated from it. In addition, the software determines the critical distances from the rail axis within which limit values are expected to be exceeded. If the user adjusts the characteristics of the rolling stock or the traffic load on a section, the emissions and critical distances are updated immediately.

Noise levels can be recorded for different conditions, and in addition to the current timetable, forecasts can also be recorded.


The map in the center

Noise data almost always have a spatial reference, be it noise emission at a switch or train traffic on a section of the rail network. Decibase RAIL is therefore structured as a modern web GIS: the map is at the center of the application and presents all noise-relevant data. In addition, the map contains other helpful map layers such as the Swiss national map, a satellite image or the public transport network. If required, additional information such as the noise sensitivity levels or the official cadastral survey can be displayed.

Fahrplan 2020/21

Figure 1: Decibase with map layers superimposed: RBS rail network (blue), noise sensitivity levels (yellow to orange), public transport routes and stops (various colors).


Data submission to the federal government made easy

With the configurable export interface, data can be exported to different target models and data formats. For data delivery to the federal government, the minimal geodata model "Noise Pollution Cadastre for Railway Installations" can be output directly from Decibase RAIL. If further processing of the data in noise calculation or GIS applications is necessary, different GIS export formats are available. PDF data sheets of individual sections can be generated for information to affected and interested parties.


Everything from one source

Experience has shown that the preparation of railroad lines for noise issues is a particular challenge. The information on speed, engineering structures, etc. required for noise calculations is sometimes not available in georeferenced form or is managed in specialized CAD programs. In order to define start and end points of sections with the same noise emissions in each case, our specialists therefore processed various data sources of the RBS with GIS tools and intersected them with each other.


Look into the future

With the introduction of Decibase RAIL at RBS, Grolimund + Partner extends its range of modern software products with a tool for railroad noise. We are looking forward to more railroad companies making use of this useful tool in the future.

Source image: RBS