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Overcoming Excessive Noise from High-Speed Rail Testing


National Facility for Cyclic Testing of High-Speed Rail


Transport research


University of Wollongong (UOW)


Wollongong, NSW

Overcoming Excessive Noise from High-Speed Rail Testing
Sonic System Acoustic Enclosure to combat the noise from hydraulic pumps.

Initial project requirements:

Flexshield is fortunate to operate in an industry where we get to work on a diverse range of projects. For example, in 2018, we were involved with the National Facility for Cyclic Testing of High-Speed Rail (FCTHSR) at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

The first national facility of its kind, FCTHSR, was designed and built to accommodate a wide array of track conditions. The development provides a national and international hub for high-quality collaborative research, with the primary objective of contributing to better track design and faster running trains.

The facility will significantly benefit several ongoing rail and linkage projects. FCTHSR enables the test pit and model composition to be changed to examine different geologic materials and synthetic inclusions and analyse high-speed loading effects on utilities such as buried pipelines, bridge piers, and retaining structures (e.g., sheet walls).

Unsurprisingly, many of the testing activities generate excessive amounts of noise. The FCTHSR uses many hydraulic pumps to deliver their required energy.

Project challenges:

The Flexshield team were asked to create a solution to combat the hydraulic pumps’ high noise levels, along with controlling the noise from compressors located outside the building.

Flexshield solution:

To reduce the noise emitted from the FCTHSR’s hydraulic pumps, Flexshield designed, manufactured, and supplied a V100 Sonic System enclosure complete with a lift-off roof section, Sonic Access personnel access doors, and SL4-10 acoustic louvres.

The V100 Sonic System acoustic modular panels absorb the noise emitted from the hydraulic pumps. V100 Sonic System features a variety of different sized holes to absorb noise at different frequencies. The noise absorbent material inside the panel then traps the noise, so it does not escape into the environment. The lift-off roof allows for maintenance or replacement of the pumps without needing to dismantle the entire enclosure.

To allow for personnel access without detracting from the enclosure’s acoustic absorption, Flexshield installed high-spec Sonic Access acoustic doors.

To provide the necessary ventilation for the hydraulic pumps and avoid overheating, the enclosure featured Flexshield SL4-10 acoustic louvres. These louvres have acoustic properties to absorb noise while allowing for ventilation.

Around the air compressors, V50 Sonic System panels were installed to shield noise from nearby noise-sensitive neighbours. Supplied pre-finished and suitable for external environments, the V50 panels attenuated and absorbed noise and provided a visual screen.


Flexshield’s custom-made noise solution is helping UOW safely conduct their important research, as they find ways to improve how trains run and reduce the expense of track maintenance.

For more information about noise control solutions for education, contact Flexshield on 1300 799 969.