U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 18, 2024

§ 201.23 - Test site, weather conditions and background noise criteria for measurement at a 30 meter (100 feet) distance of the noise from locomotive and rail car operations and locomotive load cell test stands.

(a) The standard test site shall be such that the locomotive or train radiates sound into a free field over the ground plane. This condition may be considered fulfilled if the test site consists of an open space free of large, sound reflecting objects, such as barriers, hills, signboards, parked vehicles, locomotives or rail cars on adjacent tracks, bridges or buildings within the boundaries described by Figure 1, as well as conforms to the other requirements of this § 201.23.

(b) Within the complete test site, the top of at least one rail upon which the locomotive or train is located shall be visible (line of sight) from a position 1.2 meters (4 feet) above the ground at the microphone location, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Ground cover such as vegetation, fenceposts, small trees, telephone poles, etc., shall be limited within the area in the test site between the vehicle under test and the measuring microphone such that 80 percent of the top of at least one rail along the entire test section of track be visible from a position 1.2 meters (4 feet) above the ground at the microphone location; except that no single obstruction shall account for more than 5 percent of the total allowable obstruction.

(d) The ground elevation at the microphone location shall be within plus 1.5 meters (5 feet) or minus 3.0 meters (10 feet) of the elevation of the top of the rail at the location in-line with the microphone.

(e) Within the test site, the track shall exhibit less than a 2 degree curve or a radius of curvature greater than 873 meters (2,865 feet). This paragraph shall not apply during a stationary test. The track shall be tie and ballast, free of special track work and bridges or trestles.

(f) Measurements shall not be made during precipitation.

(g) The maximum A-weighted fast response sound level observed at the test site immediately before and after the test shall be at least 10 dB(A) below the level measured during the test. For the locomotive and rail car pass-by tests this requirement applies before and after the train containing the rolling stock to be tested has passed. This background sound level measurement shall include the contribution from the operation of the load cell, if any, including load cell contribution during test.

(h) Noise measurements may only be made if the measured wind velocity is 19.3 km/hr (12 mph) or less. Gust wind measurements of up to 33.2 km/hr (20 mph) are allowed.