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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4813274, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical Modelling of Building Vibrations due to Railway Traffic: Analysis of the Mitigation Capacity of a Wave Barrier

University Institute for Multidisciplinary Mathematics, Polytechnic University of Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Fran Ribes-Llario

Received 23 December 2016; Revised 15 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 18 April 2017

Academic Editor: Georges Kouroussis

Copyright © 2017 Fran Ribes-Llario et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transmission of train-induced vibrations to buildings located in the vicinity of the track is one of the main negative externalities of railway transport, since both human comfort and the adequate functioning of sensitive equipment may be compromised. In this paper, a 3D FEM model is presented and validated with data from a real track stretch near Barcelona, Spain. Furthermore, a case study is analyzed as an application of the model, in order to evaluate the propagation and transmission of vibrations induced by the passage of a suburban train to a nearby 3-storey building. As a main outcome, vertical vibrations in the foundation slab are found to be maximum in the corners, while horizontal vibrations keep constant along the edges. The propagation within the building structure is also studied, concluding that vibrations invariably increase in their propagation upwards the building. Moreover, the mitigation capacity of a wave barrier acting as a source isolation is assessed by comparing vibration levels registered in several points of the building structure with and without the barrier. In this regard, the wave barrier is found to effectively reduce vibration in both the soil and the structure.