We refer to the recent letters "Spare a thought, lower the decibels" (Today, 29 May 2008), "Horns, screeching brakes disturb those living nearby" and "Not quite on track" (both in Today, 2 June 2008).
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) would like to assure the public that there are measures in place to limit the noise level caused by MRT trains. To begin with, in the procurement of our MRT trains, the manufacturers have to comply with noise emission limits. Our trains are also fitted with noise-damped wheels to reduce the noise. The use of stone ballast and sleepers to the track on the viaduct also help to absorb vibration and some noise. The wheels are regularly checked and maintained to ensure that trains operate at optimal condition. However, train noise is unavoidable as the steel wheels must be in contact with the steel rails and noise is generated when the train runs at speed along the viaduct.
Low parapet walls are placed on the viaduct close to the tracks to help confine the noise to the underside of the train instead of emitting it to the open area. In our densely built up urbanised landscape, it is inevitable at times that train viaducts are built close to residential areas. While trains cannot be totally silent, the noise is within the stipulated permissible limits. We thank the writers for their feedback and seek the public's understanding on this issue.
MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS
LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY