Noise from new light-rail trains running through north Tukwila exceeds federal standards, according to a new report Sound Transit released Friday.

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Noise from new light-rail trains running through north Tukwila exceeds federal standards, according to a new report Sound Transit released Friday.

The news won’t prevent the Link light-rail line from opening as scheduled at 10 a.m. next Saturday, transit spokesman Bruce Gray said Friday.

However, the agency may have to add sound walls to the trackway or soundproof nearby homes, he said.

New sound measurements were taken outside the home of David Shumate, near the 11600 block of East Marginal Way South, after Shumate and other neighbors complained about the grating sound of the passing trains.

The trackway there is straight and elevated, next to the Duwamish River light-rail bridge.

In recent samples, sound from four northbound trains peaked at an average 83 decibels while three southbound trains peaked at an average 73 decibels, at speeds just below 50 mph, the study said.

This compares to an average background noise, including car traffic, of around 67 decibels. (A jet takeoff is 100 decibels, a nearby motorcycle engine 90 decibels, and a kitchen garbage disposal 80 decibels, the study says.)

Sound Transit trains create a “moderate” impact under Federal Transit Administration rules that calculate a cumulative 24-hour effect.

Last year, Sound Transit found sound levels of 73 decibels in a trial run. But after testing of the trains began in the spring, Shumate thought the noise was intolerable and took his own readings, which measured 80 decibels. Each 10-decibel increase means a doubling of perceived loudness.

Shumate could not be reached for comment Friday.

Sharon Nakata, who has lived in the neighborhood for 64 years, said she was ecstatic that Sound Transit is considering noise walls.

“We worked so hard to get them to respond,” she said. “We weren’t asking for the moon and the stars. We were asking for a simple solution.”

Nakata and her neighbors have been asking for noise walls on the nearby track for three weeks.

“It’s the whole neighborhood that’s affected,” she said. “This is step No. 1. If they’re going to work with us, I’m very appreciative.”

James Irish, light-rail environmental manager, said he doesn’t know how much trackway might be retrofitted with sound walls, the cost or the timetable. Sound barriers already exist along some stretches of the line in Tukwila, along Interstate 5, where houses are very close to the track.

Trains are screeching in at least two other sites:

• Where they emerge from the Beacon Hill Tunnel and curve toward Mount Baker Station. Neighbors say they can hear the noise several blocks away, in the Cheasty Greenbelt.

• At the base of Highway 518, where the guideway turns west, going uphill from I-5 toward Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Sound Transit ordered lubricant this week for those two places. But the lube doesn’t prevent noise on straight stretches like the one near Shumate’s home, Gray said.

Train noise has been a recurring issue in Vancouver, B.C., and the Bay Area.

Irish didn’t know why levels in Tukwila exceed Sound Transit predictions in past environmental studies, based mainly on experience in Portland. Friday’s report was written by Michael Minor & Associates of Portland.

In a separate noise issue, Gray said Sound Transit and Seattle are adjusting automated warning bells that clang along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, where trains run in a street median.

Staff reporter Lindsay Toler contributed to this report. Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com