Excerpts from the technical specification for interoperability (TSI) relating to high-speed railway infrastructures Commission Decision 2002/732/EC
According to Annex III of Directive 96/48/EC, the general requirements pertaining to environmental protection that are relevant to the infrastructure subsystem are the following:
1.4.1. The repercussions on the environment of the establishment and operation of the trans-European high-speed rail system must be assessed and taken into account at the design stage of the system in accordance with the Community provisions in force,
1.4.2. The materials used in the trains and infrastructure must prevent the emission of fumes or gases which are harmful and dangerous to the environment, particularly in the event of fire.
Besides compliance with these general requirements, outside noise and vibrations transmitted to sites close to a high-speed railway infrastructure must be kept within limits suitable to protect neighbouring populations.
Parameters relevant to the environmental requirement
- Boundary characteristics linked to outside noise (Parameter 17, 4.1.7 and 188.8.131.52.2).
- Boundary characteristics linked to outside vibrations (Parameter 18, 4.1.8 and 184.108.40.206.2).
4.1. BASIC PARAMETERS OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE SUBSYSTEM
The basic parameters of the infrastructure subsystem as concerns high-speed lines are described and set out in this chapter. The particular requirements to ensure compatibility of upgraded and connecting lines are detailed in Point 4.3.
The basic parameters for achieving interoperability are those listed in Annex II to Directive 96/48/EC. Nine of them relate to the infrastructure:
- minimum infrastructure gauge (1),
- minimum radius of curvature (2),
- track gauge (3),
- maximum track loading (4),
- minimum platform length (5),
- platform height (6),
- boundary characteristics in relation to outside noise (17),
- boundary characteristics in relation to outside vibrations (18),
- characteristics linked to the access of disabled persons (22).
In addition to these basic parameters, the following should also be considered:
- maximum pressure variation in tunnels (23),
- maximum falling and rising gradients (24),
- minimum distance between track centres (25).
A certain number of interfaces are associated with the basic parameters. The full list of interfaces and the elements that characterise them is given in Point 4.2.
4.1.7. Boundary characteristics linked to outside Noise (Parameter 17)
The noise level generated by the trans-European high-speed rail system should remain acceptable for its surroundings and be kept within limits suitable to protect neighbouring populations and their activities. The environmental impact study required to be carried out beforehand under Council Directive 85/337/EEC and stated in 220.127.116.11.1 below, must show that the noise levels perceived by neighbours along new or upgraded infrastructure (either noise levels generated by interoperable trains or global equivalent noise levels of the whole traffic, depending on the applicable criteria) do not exceed the noise levels defined by national rules in application, taking into account the noise emission characteristics of the interoperable trains as defined in the rolling stock TSI.
Environmental impact study:
By application of Council Directive 85/337/EEC concerning the assessment of the effects of certain projects on the environment, during the design of a line specially built for high-speed or on the occasion of line upgradings for high-speed the environmental impacts of the projects must be addressed in a preliminary study in accordance with the requirements of the national legislation of the State concerned enacted to apply the Community provisions.
The impact study must state:
- the measures taken to ensure that the specifications of this TSI relating to the "Boundary characteristics linked to outside noise" parameter set out in Point 4.1.7 are complied with. Noise levels perceived by neighbours along new or upgraded infrastructures (either noise levels generated by interoperable trains or global equivalent noise levels of the whole traffic, depending on the applicable criteria) shall be calculated taking into account the maximum emission level of interoperable trains as defined in 4.1.8 of the rolling stock TSI, and should it be the case, of the traffic expected from all train types running on the line.