Environmental Sustainability

Management of noise pollution

Mapa de ruido

Noise pollution is one of the adverse environmental effects generated as a result of railway activity.

Adif and Adif-High Speed work to minimize these effects with the aim of making the development of rail transport compatible with the quality of life in the towns near the railway.

Strategic noise maps and Action plans

Noise from railway traffic is regulated by Directive 2002/49 / EC on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise, whose basic provisions have been incorporated into Law 37/2003, of November 17, on Noise.

Law 37/2003 and Royal Decree 1513/2005 of December 16, which develops said law, require the drawing up of Strategic Noise Maps (SNM) and Noise Action Plans (NAP) for all major railway axes, i.e. railway sections that exceed 30,000 trains/year.

Strategic noise maps are a tool designed to assess the exposure of the population to environmental noise as a consequence of the means of transport and the industry. They allow to determine the number of people exposed to values above the acoustic quality objectives established by the current legislation (Royal Decree 1367/2007).

Once the strategic noise maps are completed, the action plans are drawn up.
These documents study in detail the areas identified in the strategic noise maps that are likely to exceed the Acoustic Quality Objectives (AQO) and propose different corrective measures in order to achieve them.

Adif was entrusted by the Ministry of Development to prepare said documents, though the Ministry is responsible for informing the public and for approving them.
In compliance with the aforementioned legislation, in the first stage of works, the railway sections with annual circulations exceeding 60,000 trains/year were studied, and in the second and subsequent stages the rest of the major railway axes were added to the study (>30,000 trains/year).
Strategic noise maps and noise action plans are reviewed, and if necessary, modified at least every five years.

Third stage of Strategic Noise Maps and Action Plans

As in previous stages, the sections that are to be studied have been divided into Strategic Map Units (SMU), which have made it possible to organize the different routes within a railway itinerary and give continuity to the sections, thus providing the study with greater functionality and facilitating a better understanding of the concept of"railway axis".
The information on Strategic Noise Maps and Noise Action Plans of the first two satges is available in the Information System on Noise Pollution (ISNP) of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO).

In this last stage, 1,277 km of the railway network have been analyzed, distributed in 28 Strategic Map Units:​