AUDIO: Quieter wayside train horn tested in Del Mar
Committee aims to raise funds for installation
Officials from cities across North County converged on Del Mar Thursday to attend a demonstration of a quieter “wayside horn” train alerting system.
The technology, consisting of directionally angled horns placed at the crossing, would limit trains to sounding their horns only in emergency situations. Essentially, Del Mar residents throughout the city will hear at most a much quieter version of the multidirectional blasts of passing trains.
Federal law requires trains to begin their horns when 25 seconds away from a crossing. A wayside horn, which would only have to reach 92 decibels 100 feet away, is aimed in the direction of those that need to be alerted. Representatives from Encinitas, Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside and North County Transit District attended, as well as federal railroad authorities.
“All the cities up and down the coast along the railroad track have had, from time to time, have had residents say ‘gee, why do we have to have these horns blowing all the time,’ and of course, we’ve got much more frequency of trains going up and down the track than we used to have,” said Del Mar Mayor Richard Earnest. “So we’re taking the leadership position, and our citizens actually have to say let’s try this out, let’s see if it works.”
From a Coast boulevard apartment building directly overlooking the railroad crossing, a sound meter routinely listed the passing trains at more than 100 decibels. The wayside horn generally measured around 80 decibels.
If feedback is positive, a citizen committee will attempt to raise $160,000 to install the wayside horns. A community forum will be held 6 p.m. on May 25 at the City Hall Annex.
- Citizens committee for wayside horn
- May 25 at 6 p.m.
- City Hall Annex
- Goal is to raise $160,000 to install wayside horn
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