World's first enclosed noise barrier built to protect bird habitat

China Plus

06:07, July 20, 2019(GTM +8)


A train passes through a noise barrier along the newly-opened Jiangmen-Zhanjiang Railway. The noise barrier was built to avoid disturbing a nearby habitat to over 30,000 birds. (File Photo: VCG)

The world's first full-enclosed high-speed rail noise barrier has been built to protect a wetland that's home to more than 30,000 birds in the city of Jiangmen in Guangdong Province.

The two-kilometer-long stretch of noise reduction barrier is part of the 355-kilometer-long Jiangmen-Zhanjiang high-speed railway that opened on July 1.

The rail line is just 800 meters from the core of the habitat. Known as the "Bird's Paradise," the habitat is a nationally-protected wetland park. There is a small island in the reserve that is home to a thick banyan tree forest inhabited by dozens of bird species.

The noise reduction barrier took three years to build at a cost of 187 million yuan (28 million U.S. dollars). A total of 42,260 noise absorbers were installed in the barrier, which has a design life of 100 years. It was built to resist Category-14 typhoons.

After the barrier was built, researchers measured the change in noise volume in the middle of the "Bird's Paradise" as trains sped along the nearby track. The barrier was found to be so effective that the noise increased by just 0.2 decibels, meaning that the train noise is effectively muted.