Acoustics, Transportation case study

A new wheel lathe facility at Clacton-on-Sea railway depot


C Spencer Ltd. were appointed to deliver a new wheel lathe facility at Clacton-on-Sea railway depot, to service Abellio East Anglia’s Stadler and Alstom rolling stock. The scheme involved the design and construction of the wheel lathe building plus modifications to track and overhead line equipment (OLE).

An operational noise assessment had previously been completed through GRIP 3 and 4. However, at GRIP 5, this required to be reviewed and updated in-line with the final design, to make sure that the operational noise levels were still predicted to comply with the relevant planning condition. At GRIP 5, construction noise also needed to be assessed.


Due to the process involved, wheel lathes are noisy when in operation. Furthermore, they are often operated at night when trains are not in public service. Consequently, the noise they generate must be assessed as part of the Local Authority planning process, to protect residential amenity (there are residential properties close to the site, which are noise-sensitive).

In addition, some aspects of the construction of the wheel lathe building and associated infrastructure (including some piling) was required to be undertaken outside core hours, when trains are not running. This increased the potential for noise to disturb to nearby sensitive receptors.


SRL prepared the construction noise assessment required for GRIP 5 and also compiled a S61 Application, seeking prior consent from Tendring District Council. S61 consent has subsequently been granted without onerous conditions.

The operational noise assessment was reviewed in line with the final design, to confirm that any changes to that previously assumed were not significant or consequential in terms of the operational noise impact.