Noise caused by night-time movement of freight trains has often been cited as
a major objection to expansion of rail freight operations.

Now, after years of research, agreement has been reached which will permit the use of a new, much quieter type of brake block on international rail freight wagons. It will eventually replace the current cast iron brakes.

The new so called K-type composite brake blocks will in effect halve the
amount of noise generated; reducing sound by 10dB.

"This agreement shows that the rail freight industry is ready to become even
more environmentally friendly" said Gary Tinsey, chairman of Railfuture's
freight committee.

The introduction of these quieter freight wagons follows the purchase of some 400 new quiet diesel locomotives over the last seven years and the scrapping of many old unreliable 40-year-old locos.

Mr Tinsey added: "Rail freight operators can now become even better neighbours to residents who live along side rail routes used by night time freight trains. Just one fully loaded train every ninety minutes can take the equivalent of 70-80 heavy lorry loads. I know which I'd rather have going past my bedroom window at 2:00 am."

"Night time noise is an important issue. People deserve and need a decent
night's sleep.