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Caltrain to reduce horn noise

Posted: 18 September 2017 | | 1 comment

Commuters, residents and people working near several Caltrain stations will notice a reduction in horn noise coming from the trains passing through their neighbourhoods.

Caltrain to reduce horn noise

Caltrain, which provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, has decided to reduce its trains’ horn noise in an effort to reduce noise pollution. Therefore it has told its engineers to no longer continuously sound their horns when passing through certain stations, based on its configuration.

For example, trains traveling through the San Bruno, Belmont and San Carlos stations would only need to sound one short horn blast as it approaches because these stations have tracks and platforms that are separated from street level. 

The reduction in horn noise will not compromise the safety standards set by the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission. Engineers will continue to blow their horn at stations that have pedestrian crossings.

If engineers see a potential safety hazard near or around the tracks, they will continue to sound the horn at their discretion. 

Visual message signs and audio announcements will advise passengers that trains are approaching at the following stations: 22nd Street, Bayshore, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae, Belmont, San Carlos, Palo Alto, California Avenue, San Antonio, Lawrence and Santa Clara.

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One response to “Caltrain to reduce horn noise”

  1. Tony Olsson says:

    It often amuses me when in Lithuania to hear huge diesel locomotives issue Thomas-like peeps from their steam-era whistles when about to leave stations, instead of a mighty blast from their roof-mounted horns. One notable exception is the 750mm narrow gauge TU2 diesel locomotives (bigger than a British Class 08 shunter) summoning passengers back to the train after spending a pleasant couple of hours beside the lake at Rubikiai.

    Like the Caltrain residents I do think some British loco and train drivers do overdo it by sounding their horns continuously when approaching and running through stations, particularly as there are usually announcements to “stand back from the platform edge, the approaching train does not stop at this station”. I’m sure not all drivers are demonstrating the Doppler effect.

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