'Noisiest' part of the Tube where locals constantly complain about the grinding sound

A train at South Wimbledon Tube station
-Credit: (Image: Chris McKenna)

Sadiq Khan has said that Transport for London (TfL) is struggling to tackle Underground noise on a section of Tube track that is 'complex and unique'. The city's transport authority has dispatched a sound expert to speak to people living in a property affected by the racket.

Engineers have recently carried out work at in Wimbledon in an effort to quieten down trains, which reportedly has had 'no impact' on the sound. The issue was raised by Labour London Assembly Member Leonie Cooper.

She said: "Grinding works that have taken place in South Wimbledon have unfortunately had no impact on the noise pollution residents are experiencing. As a matter of urgency, what other actions are being planned to alleviate this issue?"

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan holding a drink whilst standing with other people
Sadiq Khan says the section of track is 'complex' -Credit:Dave Benett/Getty Images

The Mayor of London replied on May 29: "Tackling Tube noise for staff, passengers and neighbours is a priority both for me and for Transport for London (TfL). The track in question is particularly complex and unique and, over the years, TfL has worked on a number of solutions to alleviate noise.

"TfL’s acoustician has attended an impacted property, assessed the section of track affected and is currently reviewing the data before compiling the findings. TfL is planning to take localised track readings to help inform its next steps.

"As this particular issue is unique, there are no straightforward options to trial as a mitigation, but TfL is committed to doing all it can address the issue."

Noise raised months ago

The noise was also raised in December. Ms Cooper said: "Local residents are starting to frequently complain again about Tube noise in the South Wimbledon area.

"What grinding works are being carried out by TfL in South Wimbledon to reduce tube noise for local residents?" Mr Khan said that officials were aware and action has and will be taken. He replied: "Tackling Tube noise for staff, customers and neighbours is a priority for both Transport for London (TfL) and me.

"Rail grinding helps to smooth corrugated rail, which allows TfL to manage noise levels in this area. Localised hand-grinding was carried out in August 2023, followed by the rail grinding machine – on both northbound and southbound tracks – in September 2023.

"TfL is aware of a specific issue in relation to impulsive noise in this area and is planning to carry out a site visit by January 2024, which it hopes will help determine the cause of this issue."

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