Noise continues to be high on the European agenda where noise creation aspects are legislated and on the national one where noise reception is dealt with according to the subsidiary principles. Accordingly, all European countries have noise reception limit values for new railway lines and in almost all Member States limit values exist also for upgraded lines.
Initial considerations towards noise in rail transport were taken through the Interoperability Directive (EU) 2016/797 and the Noise Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI NOISE). In addition, the Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC (END) requires Member States to submit noise maps and action plans to assess the number of people exposed to different noise emission levels throughout Europe. However, the END does not define any noise limit values nor does it prescribe the measures to be taken in these action plans. Consequently, different pathways are being pursued at both European and national levels.