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Rail Dampers

Rail dampers are passive elements that are fixed to both sides of the rail web to reduce air borne noise caused by vibrating rail.  They are usually installed between every tie in problem areas of track.


Depending upon the situation, dampers can be used as an alternative to (or in conjunction with) sound barriers, increased rail grinding, wheel maintenance programs, or train speed reductions.

Each damper design is unique for a particular rail section. We optimize the type and size of rubber used to tune the working frequency of the damper to match the type of rail to be damped.

Prominent features:

  • Simple installation (no rail drilling)
  • Long life
  • Maintenance free (visual inspection)
  • Low cost
  • Made in USA by Nortrak

How They Work

By coupling the rail to a steel mass via a damped spring (a sandwich of rubber and steel components), each damper absorbs some of the energy of vibration and dissipates it as heat. This has the effect of increasing the damping factor of the rail, increasing the decay rate of rail vibration as a function of distance from the wheel, and ultimately reducing air borne noise.