The dynamic interaction effects of railway tunnels: Crossrail and the Grand Central Recording Studios

In cities around the world, underground railways offer an environmentally friendly solution to society’s increasing demand for mass transport. However, they are often constructed close to sensitive buildings, where the resulting ground-borne noise and vibration can cause disturbance to both the occupants and the equipment. Such a scenario occurred in central London, where the new twin tunnels of Crossrail were bored beneath the Grand Central Recording Studios, causing an immediate concern. As a result, vibration in the studios’ building was monitored throughout the Crossrail construction period. Since Crossrail is yet to operate, the resulting data provide a unique opportunity to investigate the effect of new tunnels, acting as passive buried structures, on the existing vibration environment. This paper presents the results of such an investigation, together with complementary results from a theoretical four-tunnel boundary-element model. The data analysis, presented in the first half of the paper, indicates that the construction of the second Crossrail tunnel has led to an overall reduction in the noise and vibration levels beneath the studios, due to the operation of the nearby Central line trains of London Underground. This is predominantly due to a reduction of approximately 6?dB in the 63?Hz band-limited levels but accompanied by a slight increase, of approximately 2?dB, in the 125?Hz band. Further analysis indicates that any seasonal variations in vibration levels over the measurement period are negligible, adding weight to the conclusion that the observed changes are a causal effect of the tunnel. The second half of the paper presents results from the model, which aims to simulate the dynamic interaction between the Central line tunnels and those of Crossrail. With nominal parameter values, the results demonstrate qualitative similarities with the measurement findings, thereby adding to the growing body of evidence that dynamic interaction between neighbouring tunnels can be significant.


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  • Accession Number: 01662602
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2018 2:06PM