The daily commute between Malmö and Lund in southern Sweden has seen significant growth in recent years. The railway is being expanded from two to four tracks to increase capacity and reduce sensitivity to disruptions. Parts of the route is built below ground level to reduce noise disturbances, and more crossings are built over the tracks to reduce the railway’s barrier effect in local communities. The project was started in 2017, and the new tracks are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023.
Railway construction can generate ground-borne vibrations that propagate into surrounding buildings and infrastructure. On behalf of The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and contractors NCC and OHLA, Efterklang was assigned to conduct detailed measurements and risk assessments.
To ensure the lowest possible vibration levels, the measurement work is comprehensive and has been conducted along the entire route for an extended period. Advanced measurement systems are employed for the purpose of measuring vibrations. Both wired and wireless measurement instruments are in use along the route where the new railway is being built.
Before construction began, risk assessments were conducted for nearby buildings where measurements would be carried out to determine the baseline vibration levels they need to adhere to. Instruments were installed on building foundations, and measurement data is registered and transmitted directly via built-in modems to a web-based program. If a measurement instrument registers values above the set trigger level, immediate alarms are sent via SMS and email. Identifying high measurement values allows us to notify the client and assist in taking measures to reduce vibrations. These measures may include using smaller machinery that generates lower vibration levels.
Despite the new tracks being put into operation in late 2023, the measurement work continues. Post-construction activities, such as dismantling temporary tracks and restoring areas near the railway, will also require inspection and vibration measurements.