London Underground is taking action to reduce the noise in tube tunnels by testing new rail track fastenings that should reduce the amount of track noise being heard inside the tube trains.

Normally, Transport for London (TfL) reduces track noise by grinding the tracks to restore the track profile. While the primary purpose of rail grinding on the Tube network is safety and operational reliability by managing rail defects, and maximising asset life, it is also used for the purpose of noise reduction.  In recent years, track noise seems to have got worse, particularly on sections of the Jubilee, Victoria and Northern lines, and there’s been an increase in complaints to TfL about the problem.

Battery locomotive used during maintenance works

Although rail grinding is the main way of reducing track noise, TfL is currently carrying out a trial of new track fastenings. They currently use Pandrol Vanguard track fastenings which are optimal for reducing the transmission of vibration and noise from the track to nearby buildings. There’s a downside though, in that they might increase noise inside train carriages. In an experiment, TfL has replaced them with alternative Delkor track fastenings between Baker Street and St John’s Wood on the Jubilee line. Initial results indicate that the Delkor track fastening will offer a similar benefit in terms of limiting residential noise levels while reducing in-carriage noise in comparison to Pandrol Vanguard fastenings.

The next planned site for installing Delkor fastenings is on the Northern line from Camden Town to Euston.

Also, in a written answer to a question by Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Mayor’s office revealed which sections of the London Underground have had their rails ground recently, and outlined which will get the same treatment by the end of the year.

Over the past six months, over 17,500 metres of rail track were ground by TfL maintenance staff. TfL also continues to carry out other targeted interventions to reduce noise, including removing redundant rail joints, maintaining points and crossings and re-ballasting track.

Sections of the London Underground that had rail grinding from December 2021 to May 2022.


  • Bethnal Green to Liverpool Street
  • Holland Park to Shepherds Bush
  • Marble Arch to Lancaster Gate
  • Mile End to Bethnal Green
  • Notting Hill Gate to Holland Park
  • Queensway to Notting Hill Gate
  • Shepherds Bush to White City
  • Stratford to Mile End


  • Bromley-by-Bow to Bow Road
  • Cannon Street to Mansion House
  • Mansion House to Blackfriars

Hammersmith & City

  • Barbican to Moorgate
  • Kings Cross St Pancras to Farringdon


  • Baker Street to Bond Street
  • Bermondsey to London Bridge
  • Canning Town to North Greenwich
  • Canning Town to West Ham
  • North Greenwich to Canary Wharf
  • St Johns Wood to Baker Street


  • Finsbury Park to Highbury & Islington
  • Green Park to Victoria
  • Highbury & Islington to Kings Cross St Pancras
  • Seven Sisters to Finsbury Park
  • Stockwell to Brixton
  • Tottenham Hale to Seven Sisters
  • Victoria to Pimlico

Sections of the London Underground that will get rail grinding from June to November 2022

(N.B. This list is provisional and subject to change).


  • Queensway to Lancaster Gate


  • Balham to Clapham South
  • Waterloo to Kennington
  • Embankment to Waterloo
  • Euston to Mornington Crescent


  • St Johns Wood to Baker Street
  • North Greenwich to Canning Town


  • Hyde Park Corner to Green Park
  • Knightsbridge to South Kensington
  • Holborn to Covent Garden
  • Kings Cross St Pancras To Russell Square


  • Highbury & Islington to Kings Cross St Pancras
  • Further Victoria line sections to be confirmed

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  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    It was ironic that the first section of the Underground to get 4G coverage was the JLE, which because it changes direction so often screech central. So you could MAKE perfect HiFi phone calls, but only of train noise.

    Here’s my handy PDF of measured train noises on the network.

  2. Unknown worker says:

    Delkors are not new they have. Wen around a, few, years, now as I have installed them many of times

  3. Giovanni martinelli says:

    .. sure will that: il the tfl not fix asap the noise problem, will pay some money because damage the peoples i use und every day and checking with particular instruments, have that: in decibel the noise is up 90db, nb 90db, and some frequencies can to damage the Corti system in irreversible way. If the tfl not able to fix the problem asap .. or court to pay the people or close the und because dangerous.

  4. Michael says:

    It might have been a slightly less squealy when I went from Baker Street – SJW yesterday but not a lot quieter. My watch recorded the maximum volume of 104 db on the Jub and 103 on the Northern. It’s outrageous.

  5. Highgate resident says:

    Why is rail grinding not prioritised for Euston to Camden Town (High Barnet branch)? The level of noise in this area is some of the worst on the network and I regular observe passengers covering their ears.

    It is not acceptable to wait for this “experiment”. Transport for London have a duty to protect their passengers from excessive noise.

  6. Ed Humphreys says:

    Not the solution to the problem, but if I were a passenger who uses the tube network, I’d invest in a set of good industrial earplugs. A few quid well spent, compared to the risk of damage to my hearing.

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