Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 14 - 16 July 2003 "National issues affecting the movement of people and goods - strategic approaches", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: The Gautrain Rapid Rail Link is a new high speed railway commuter (transit) system planned along two linked corridors in central Gauteng, namely between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and between Sandton and Johannesburg International Airport. The introduction of this rail system has the potential for noise and vibration impact if the railway system is not designed carefully and if appropriate mitigating measures are not taken where required. As part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project, a comprehensive investigation of the potential noise and ground-borne vibration impact from the train was undertaken. There are no existing South African noise and vibration standards related to railways and their operation, and thus such criteria needed to be established specifically for this project. International standards were considered to be applicable as the basis for the recommendations for the Gautrain project. There are also no existing "official" South African noise and vibration prediction models and appropriate calculation methods had to be sourced from international best practice. Although the implementation of the Gautrain project has the potential for significant noise and vibration impact if appropriate mitigating measures are not taken where required, the nature and level of the impact is such that appropriate mitigating measures are possible.
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