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State joint stock company Latvian Railway (LDz) in cooperation with Riga Technical University (RTU) Institute of Rail Transport and the Latvian company Composite Constructions Ltd (CC) in august 2012 launched a European Union Project “Innovative Solutions for Railway Noise Management” co-financed by the LIFE + program. Project No LIFE11 ENV/LV/376.

Project implementation activity must be completed until July 31, 2015, when three main aims will be secured.

Firstly, to use innovative, environmentally friendly, noise absorbable composite materials, in order to set up one kilometer long railway noise abatement wall in Riga in area of railway station Skirotava. Wall should reduce the impact of noise to inhabitants of populous territory considering EU and state regulations and legislation.

Secondly, to create a railway green anti-noise barrier - hedgegrow 300 m along the noise abatement wall, that may hold back railway noise and improve wall visually.

Thirdly, researchers from Riga Technical University will make adaptation of the RMR method for railway noise measurements used in EU for the situation in Latvia and other countries where 1520 mm gauge railway system are in service.

As result of Project Riga will receive the first railway noise abatement wall in Latvia. Project activities are important not only for Riga and Latvia. As result of Project all EU countries will receive innovative, tested, environmentally friendly technology for railway noise abatement wall construction and new railway noise measurement method that is adapted to 15200 mm gauge system.

In accordance with LIFE+ program grant contract the main coordinator for this Project is LDz, what has implemented the Project together with partners from RTU and private company CC.

LDz is a major partner and coordinator in this Project in accordance of LIFE+ program grant agreement. With participating in the Project LDz confirms that company realized social responsible activities to improve the quality of the living environment near railway in Latvia. LDz will become the owner and breadwinner of the abatement wall when the Project is finished.

RTU Institute of Rail Transport is one of the beneficiary and partner in the realization of the objectives of the Project. This authority is the only one in the Republic of Latvia, what has experienced researchers in rail noise measurements. RTU researchers in the Project implementation period must adapt RMR noise measurement method, what is developed in the Netherlands and widely used in the EU countries, in accordance with Latvian law and railway circumstances.

CC is the second related beneficiary and partner in the implementation of the objective of the Project. This private Latvian company has long-term experience in the development of innovative products and applications in various engineering structures. CC must form railway abatement wall from innovative, environmentally friendly composite materials (recycled rubber and plastic, wood processing residues, scrap etc.).

The Project implementation period will be three years: August 2012-2015. Total cost: EUR 1 466 810. LIFE+ program funding: EUR 654 405. LVAF (Latvian Environmental Protection Fund) funding: EUR 129 081. Three beneficiaries and partners (LDz, RTU and CC) participate in the Project also with their own investments.

The LIFE + program is the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects. The main goal of the life + program is to contribute to passing, amending and enforcing of European Union environmental policy and legislation. LIFE+ program was launched in 1992. Since then, LIFE+ has co-financed about 3,700 projects in all EU countries by investing in environmental projects more than 2.8 billion euros.

Until now Latvia has implemented 32 LIFE+ co-financed projects with total cost EUR 32,4 million. Eleven projects are implemented in the environmental protection, twenty projects – in nature conservation, and one in capacity increasing.

More about the life + program: www.ec.europa.eu./environment/life