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Pelletstown train station - How do you make a noise complaint?

  • 15-10-2021 4:58pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭


    I live beside the recently opened Pelletstown train station. The planning permission (2109/13) effectively no noise increase however we've found there to be a significant increase in noise from intercity diesel trains idling at station and also a service that blows it's horn on approach to the station Monday to Friday at 12:30am (hitting 75db indoors). It doesn't seem particularly obvious how to raise this issue of trains idling and horns with Irish Rail.




  • Registered Users Posts: 13,789 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3

    I assume you contact Irish Rail and which ever council area it’s in regarding PP issues.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,362 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    Whatever about engines idling while at the station (turning off and on the engine isn't realistic) but I have often thought that blowing the horn when coming into a station is ridiculous. The people at the near end of the station get their ears blow off while the people at the other end hardly notice. Surely an audible signal could be given across the PA system instead .

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    Well, they can add things like trees along the side of the station to mitigate the noise. There doesn't appear to be a point of contact for complaints to Irish rail.

  • Posts: 1,010 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Don,t contact irish rail. Keep a record and submit an obsevation to the council enforcement section in planning

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,018 ✭✭✭afatbollix

    I think you're going to get no luck in Irish rail or the council, Just getting more and more frustrated with the lot of them.

    That leaves you with two options tbh.

    Look at making your place more noise proof, Better windows or sealing up openings.

    Or since you now have a newly opened station beside you, sell up as more than likely the prices have risen.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,943 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    What are you using as your sound meter?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    Yep, half past midnight. I used an app on my phone to measure sound levels, which I know will have limited accuracy however, the PP survey forecast a .1db increase, so we're a long way from that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 387 ✭✭EnzoScifo

    Just FYI an app from your phone will not be given the time of day in any complaint.

    First step should be Irish Rail. Then planning enforcement in the council.

    Not too sure how far you'll get as the horn is a safety prerequisite and the sound is not prolonged.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,943 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The phone app accuracy is not "limited", it's non existent. The figure its giving is basically made up.

    You also don't have a pre-construction baseline to compare to even if your readings were off something verifiable.

    I'll have to check the planning docs but I'd expect the estimated sound increase was a daily or even yearly average and not applicable to an instantaneous read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭Uncle Pierre

    The answer to the question "how do you make a noise complaint?" is here:

    Basically boils down to either contact those making the noise, contact the local authority, or contact the District Court.

    By the way, I too would expect any projected 0.1 dB increase to be a daily, weekly, or even annual average rather than meaning no more than a 0.1dB increase in any instantaneous sound. Any train rolling past even slowly would have to make a noise of more than 0.1 dB at that particular moment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭gjim

    Slightly off-topic but I'm curious about the safety aspect if it's just one train a day that uses its horn. Why would it be required for a single train but none of the others?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    The vast majority of the time the track has no trains so taking a daily or weekly average would be misleading, but perhaps that's exactly where they got the number from. Either way it's increase over the existing ambient noise level of trains on the line.

    The issue is with the big intercity diesel commuters, the engines idling alone gets a 10db increase including the horn. The Dublin commuter services are much quieter and you'd barely notice them at the station. I'd say whatever noise survey was done was based on these.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    Exactly, it appears to be only the Sligo train that does, and appears to be only on approach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭Uncle Pierre

    I wondered that myself but am assuming it's not that it's just one train a day blowing its horn. Instead, it's just the one blowing it at half past midnight that's the particular problem, and that there are no real issues with horns at other times of day when there's more ambient noise around anyway.

    Maybe also slightly off-topic, but I downloaded one of those sound level apps myself this morning out of curiosity, and left it running beside my computer for about half an hour during a Zoom call. Me speaking in a normal voice during that call gave readings of the order of 75 to 80 dB. Which suggests that either the noise (75dB, according to OP) isn't that excessive at all, or else is just proof of how inaccurate these things are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,043 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Any train not stopping at Pelletstown will sound its horn on approach - that's a safety measure. During the day that's all of the Sligo trains.

    There are two empty trains passing Pelletstown around 00:30 returning to Connolly, which presumably are the trains causing the issue for the OP.

    I am curious though as to how the Intercity ICR trains could possibly be louder than the Commuter 29000 sets. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

    To be honest OP, I suspect that you will get used to the sounds in time - residents in Swords under the flightpath of the old main runway at Dublin Airport used to never bat an eyelid as aircraft passed overhead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,109 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    The vibrations and sound from a idling bus are pretty intrusive and travel a good distance.

    I imagine a train is far worse. I think the horn you could learn to live with it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    I've found that only the sligo train sounds it's horn, the other trains do not sound their horn on approach, even at night. The station is lite up to the degree that you could see it from space.

  • Registered Users Posts: 873 ✭✭✭Arbie

    I live a fair bit back from the station and I grew up close to a train line so have never been bothered by trains but this one at night has woken me too. I can only imagine how intrusive it is for people facing the canal. The lighting is something else, like a set from close encounters of the third kind. I'm delighted we have the station but I think Manion is dead right that Irish Rail should make every effort to minimise the noise and light pollution for residents.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,043 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    A train not stopping at an unstaffed station must sound its horn on approach.

    That is not optional - it is a safety requirement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭gjim

    Where do these requirements come from? Are they based on any empirical evidence that safety is measurably improved? If feels like a hang-over from the 19th century.

    There's no such requirement around most of Europe from what I recall. I have most experience of train systems in Switzerland which has one of the best train services in the world and such a "safety requirement" could never work there, as the vast majority of stations are unmanned, are near residential areas and see far higher non-stopping traffic than nearly any station in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,043 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The Commission for Railway Regulation set the safety rules.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    I cannot find anything on CRR publications related to this? Do you know the specific guideline?

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,043 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The entire safety rules are not in publicly available documents - you’d need to contact the CRR and IÉ. But I cannot see it suddenly changing just for you given that it is standard practice all across the network as a safety protocol.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭Manion

    It's not just me this is affecting. This is a high density residential area. Not too sure why Safety rules are a state secret, how do you know such a rule exists? It seems very selective regarding which trains blow their horns.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,043 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    With all due respect, I don’t have to tell anyone how I know things. I’ve told you who to contact.

    Nor do I know of too many companies that publish their internal operating practices in public?

    There is nothing selective about it. The trains that are not stopping are travelling at line speed which is up to 70mph. They pose a far greater risk to anyone who happens to be on the platform and as such that’s why they sound their horn.

    My point about changing it to suit you was in the context that those same trains have been passing Clonsilla, Coolmine, Ashtown, Broombridge etc. for years and following the same safety rules there too and yet people don’t seem to have the same problem with it?

    As I said in an earlier post, you will probably get used to it fairly quickly.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects