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Deutsche Bahn Introduces "MetaWindow": A Game-Changer in Noise Reduction for Railways

Deutsche Bahn Introduces &quote;MetaWindow&quote;: A Game-Changer in Noise Reduction for Railways
foto: Dominic Dupont / DB AG / Public domain/Berthold Huber
16 / 05 / 2024

Deutsche Bahn has unveiled a pioneering advancement in noise control technology with the introduction of the MetaWindow, a transparent noise barrier boasting unparalleled sound-absorbing capabilities.

Developed in collaboration with Italian start-up Phononic Vibes, the MetaWindow was recently showcased at the Greentech Festival in Berlin. This new system integrates meta technology, which utilizes a unique geometric design to enhance acoustic efficiency far beyond traditional noise barriers. The first real-world application of this innovative technology is set to commence on the S4 railway construction in Hamburg later this year.

Source: DB AG / Public domain

Berthold Huber, a DB Board Member for Infrastructure, emphasized the dual benefits of the MetaWindow. "To achieve our climate protection targets, we need to get more traffic on the rails and expand and extend the network," emphasized Huber. "But we can only gain the necessary acceptance from residents if rail transport becomes quieter. This is precisely where the innovative MetaWindow comes in. With the transparent noise barrier, local authorities no longer have to choose between appearance and functionality."

The barrier achieves noise insulation levels ranging from 34 to 37 decibels while maintaining up to 72 percent transparency, a stark improvement over existing solutions that often sacrifice effectiveness for visual openness. The MetaWindow is specifically designed for sensitive areas where strict noise reduction regulations apply, such as urban settings, tourist spots, residential zones, and protected landscapes. Its design minimizes visual disruptions, aligning better with the environment and reducing public grievances often associated with the construction of conventional noise barriers.

Source: DB AG / Public domain

Although the MetaWindow comes at a higher material cost, the overall financial implications are mitigated by the potential for faster planning approvals and reduced objection rates from communities, ultimately speeding up project completions.