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It is a stretch of Sydney's rail network that drives many of those who live along it to despair.
The loud screeching and squealing from trains rounding the tightest curves on Sydney's rail network has worsened since more services were put on several months ago, residents say. Each day, the North Shore Line clocks up more than 450 services from 4.30am to 1am.
At Wollstonecraft station, noise from the trains often surpasses 100 decibels on the platforms – the sound of a jackhammer – resulting in many staff wearing ear plugs to block out the worst of the severe screeching. Noise from a rock concert typically ranges from 108 to 114 decibels.
Local residents Brian McGlynn, left, Ian Links and Stefano Palomba at Wollstonecraft station.CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY
Residents say the noise is debilitating, preventing them from using balconies and other outdoor areas. Even if windows are closed, it is difficult for some to hear their TVs when trains pass.
Ian Links, from a residents' group, said the noise from trains running on the section of the line from Wollstonecraft station to Waverton was worst on hot, dry days in summer.
"It is something you can't describe unless you have experienced it. It affects your sleep patterns. It affects your health," he said. "My wife talks about it several times a day – it drives her crazy."
Wollstonecraft resident Jenny Talbot on the balcony of her apartment. CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY
Mr Links describes a block of apartment units near Wollstonecraft station as "in the killing zone" because of their proximity to some of the highest noise levels from the trains.
The noise of conversation is between 55 and 60 decibels. "If a train is going past at 85 decibels, that is 200 times louder than your conversation. Every three decibels doubles the noise levels," he said.
Brian McGlynn, a civil engineer who lives near Wollstonecraft station, said noise levels from the trains had reached a serious level, posing a danger to people's health.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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