Long Marston hosts RSSB and Ricardo warning horn tests

This month, Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre supported teams from Ricardo and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) to carry out tests of train warning horn patterns.

The site, which has had over £3 million of upgrades and enhancements since Porterbrook took over in June 2021, provided the ideal location to record optimal sound while keeping potential noise disturbance to a minimum.

Louise Walker, Senior Human Factors Consultant at Ricardo said, “The team at Porterbrook’s Long Marston Rail Centre have been excellent throughout this process, really supportive and a pleasure to work with.”

RSSB are currently researching the optimisation of drivers’ use of audible warnings in all potential warning scenarios. During the testing, they recorded the 14 different warning horn patterns from a train, as identified in the Rule Book requirements from RSSB and the research team’s consultation with drivers.

The horn patterns were recorded by a Ricardo Noise Engineer and will now be played back to a sample of track workers, depot staff, station staff, and members of the public. They will be asked questions relating to the sound to see if they can determine what the warning means.

The train was positioned to be static, away from buildings in an outside space to ensure a high-quality sound recording, and to limit noise to neighbours.

Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre is equipped with a 3.5km test loop, high quality office and conference spaces, as well as rolling stock storage and a training centre.