1. To minimise railway noise near residential areas, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) today revealed 16 stretches of MRT tracks (under Phase 1) which will have railway noise barriers installed in the next three years. This follows an LTA study which identified locations along the tracks that have exceeded NEA’s existing noise criterion of 67 decibels (dBA) averaged over an hour (Leq 1-hour). Estimated to cost around $300 million, some 20km of noise barriers are expected to be installed by 2020.
Noise barrier installation to be completed in two phases
2. Design work to install the barriers will begin in the third quarter of 2013. Installation will take place in two phases. In Phase 1, about 8km of barriers will be installed on the plain line track along the eastern and western sections of the East-West Line and the Woodlands section of the North-South Line between early 2014 and 2016. The contract for this first phase of works is scheduled to be called in the second quarter of this year so that it can be awarded in the third quarter. Phase 2 is projected to begin around 2017.
3. The installation plan for the barriers will closely follow the sleeper renewal works. The barriers will be installed on the tracks after sleeper renewal works there have been completed. In general, we will also prioritise the installation of noise barriers at locations where the train tracks are located close to high-density residential developments and schools. Please see Annex for locations under Phase 1.
LTA will continue to work with operators to minimise railway noise
4. While LTA will try to expedite the installation of railway noise barriers, there are technical challenges due to the limited engineering hours available for the installation, and the need to coordinate track access with other ongoing projects such as re-signalling, and sleeper renewal, as well as regular maintenance works. In the meantime, LTA will continue to work with SMRT to further tighten the maintenance regime of the tracks and trains so that railway noise is minimised.
About LTA’s railway noise study
5. LTA conducted a railway noise study to measure the noise levels along all elevated train tracks. The study began in September 2011, and covered all elevated MRT tracks island-wide, including 455 blocks of flats located close to elevated viaducts or turnouts.