Posts Tagged ‘tingling’

Why do train tracks make a tingling or ringing noise when a train is approaching?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Question by G.: Why do train tracks make a tingling or ringing noise when a train is approaching?
Whenever a train is approaching, the tracks emit a sound I describe as “tingling”. At first I thought it had to do with electric current being passed through the third rail, but I hear this sound on non-electric tracks too. A cursory web search revealed no information about this.

My theory is that the sound is due to structural resonance from the train’s vibrations. Does anyone know for sure?

Best answer:

Answer by squeaky guinea pig
Welded tracks carry the sound of the train, the steel from which the tracks are made is a good conductor of the vibrations from the wheels, traction motors etc.

Hence the ‘singing’ sound when a train approaches.

What do you think? Answer below!

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