What makes Voyagers ‘louder’ than Meridians?

londonmidland

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As the title says, what is the reason for this?

Initially, I thought it was just because Meridians had better internal soundproofing, however Voyagers seem ‘louder’ externally, too.

Do Voyagers have different and/or bigger and louder exhausts? Upon departure there is that heavy, ground shaking bass. This is noticeable both inside and outside of the train.

Everytime power is applied on a Voyager, you can hear and feel this. On Meridians however, there is a lot less engine noise, with most noise coming from the track ‘running’ and bogie sounds.

There is the usual turbocharger scream, however there is a lot less vibration and deep bass from the engine

I compared both trains by sitting in approximately the same seats, closest to the engine.

I’m intrigued to find out if there are any differences which result in the way things sound.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I don't generally find Voyagers noisy, it's more of a background rumble. I suspect any perceived difference between the two is to do with the seating - Meridians have single-piece, very high-backed "benches" which will block more general noise than the individual seats on the Voyager.
 

greatvoyager

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Don’t Meridians have components fitted in different places to Voyagers?
If so would that have an effect?
 

route101

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Weren't Voyagers derated? I watched one depart Glasgow yesterday and I recall them having more grunt and noise back in the mid 2000s.
 

43055

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Don’t Meridians have components fitted in different places to Voyagers?
If so would that have an effect?
According to wikipedia more components are fitted under the floors on a Meridian.

I believe the bodies are different in some way as well.
 

hexagon789

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Weren't Voyagers derated? I watched one depart Glasgow yesterday and I recall them having more grunt and noise back in the mid 2000s.
Yes, but so have Meridians.

Don’t Meridians have components fitted in different places to Voyagers?
If so would that have an effect?
More stuff under the floor, because the lack of needing space for tilt equipment enabled them to do so. Also makes for more internal space.
 

Wyrleybart

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More stuff under the floor, because the lack of needing space for tilt equipment enabled them to do so. Also makes for more internal space.
Also, stuff like CET tanks are down below the solebar so that Meridians are not so stinky. I have seen it written that the exhaust pipes of 220 and 221 pass near to the CET tanks giving them a warm. Not sure if this is true. Theoretically of course, more stuff under the solebar will alter the accoustics of the 222 underframe compared to the ex Virgin designs.
 

TRAX

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A tiny part can make a huge difference. If the 222s have a different exhaust muffler, the sound output can be significantly altered.
To me it really sounds like the exhaust is the big difference in sound between a Voyager and a Meridian.
 

hexagon789

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Also, stuff like CET tanks are down below the solebar so that Meridians are not so stinky. I have seen it written that the exhaust pipes of 220 and 221 pass near to the CET tanks giving them a warm. Not sure if this is true. Theoretically of course, more stuff under the solebar will alter the accoustics of the 222 underframe compared to the ex Virgin designs.
There was supposed to be a bundle of improvements Midland Mainline wanted over the Voyagers and I seem to recall another might have been soundproofing or it might have been something similar
 

londonmidland

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A tiny part can make a huge difference. If the 222s have a different exhaust muffler, the sound output can be significantly altered.
To me it really sounds like the exhaust is the big difference in sound between a Voyager and a Meridian.
I think this could be the possible reason for the differences between the two.

Compare the two passing as full power, you’ll notice the 220/221 is a lot louder and the engine drone is also still audible after passing.

Class 221

Class 222
 

Rail Blues

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I don't think they are significantly louder. I think the noise is massively overplayed by some traditionalists when they were introduced on cross country and west coast routes as they'd replaced loco hauled stock and thus not proper trains. 'The noisy engines thumping away below your feet' is probably accurate for 1st generation DMUs, after 30 odd years of use and abuse, but Voyagers, not really.
 

greatvoyager

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A tiny part can make a huge difference. If the 222s have a different exhaust muffler, the sound output can be significantly altered.
To me it really sounds like the exhaust is the big difference in sound between a Voyager and a Meridian.
That’s interesting, never knew that.
 

Spartacus

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Voyagers have an additional donkey engine to ensure the toilet smell is distributed thoroughly throughout the train ;)
 

robbeech

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I'm currently on 222 022 it's got quite a bad misfire and it's sluggish
It would have to be a rather bad misfire on multiple engines to be "sluggish".

It's unlikely you'd tell if one of the 5 engines was only running on 5 cylinders, 4 would be noticeable.
 

TRAX

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It would have to be a rather bad misfire on multiple engines to be "sluggish".

It's unlikely you'd tell if one of the 5 engines was only running on 5 cylinders, 4 would be noticeable.
It depends. An engine running on 5 cylinders can feel less regular than 4 because of the uneven number of cylinders working (hence why 5-cylinder engines usually vibrate more than 4 or 6-cylinder engines).
 

londonmidland

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Quick update - after hearing, seeing and feeling both a Voyager and Meridian depart Sheffield, I can safely say the former is a lot louder. The ground/air even vibrates. As part of an uneducated guess, I put this down to the exhausts.
 

The exile

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I don't think they are significantly louder. I think the noise is massively overplayed by some traditionalists when they were introduced on cross country and west coast routes as they'd replaced loco hauled stock and thus not proper trains. 'The noisy engines thumping away below your feet' is probably accurate for 1st generation DMUs, after 30 odd years of use and abuse, but Voyagers, not really.
The thing is, it doesn't have to be "thumping away below your feet" to be intrusive - in fact slow and thumping may be loud but not half as intrusive or headache-inducing as something that is quieter but just the wrong frequency. That "wrong frequency" is probably different for different people, which can't help! The air-con (I think) on one of the later Mk2 variants used to create a whine that I could happily ignore, unless I already had an incipient headache - at which point the journey would become torture unless there was some older stock in the train (thank goodness for those Mk1 buffet cars!)
 

Bosch91

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Both run the same power pack so I would have thought any increase in external noise would be down the the exhaust or intake set up (ie increased turbo whine from a less effective air filter).
 

gallafent

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I only just noticed “Merdians” in the thread title. Given the oft-discussed aroma factors relating to the Voyagers, is this in fact the original (Canadian) French name for these trains? :)
 

Roast Veg

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There's also that audible metallic rattle coming from somewhere in the roof - like a pair of car keys on top of a washing machine on a spin cycle.
 

gallafent

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There's also that audible metallic rattle coming from somewhere in the roof - like a pair of car keys on top of a washing machine on a spin cycle.
The worst rattles I remember from them are from the window blinds or other bits of the window surround. Fixable with a bit of used ticket / newspaper stuffed into the crack next to the bit that's rattling.
 

londonmidland

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The rattles exist on both Voyagers and Meridians. The former has louder exhausts, which is particularly noticeable when departing over when evening powering up from coasting.

Some are louder than others it seems.
 

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