Letter to the Editor - 'A Solution to Train Noise'

by Ed McLaughlin
Chico Enterprise Record
June 2, 2007

Several writers/phoners have recently commented on the noise from train horns as they pass through Chico. I live about a mile from the tracks. Under some weather conditions, I'd swear that the horn-blasting locomotive is about to crash through my bedroom window. Why the entire community needs to be alerted to passing trains is beyond me.

Some towns, Roseville for example, have installed automated horn systems. These are stationary loudspeakers at the railroad crossings that provide simulated train horn sounds when a train is approaching the crossing. These horn sounds are more directional and localized than the traditional train-mounted horns in current use. Installing these warning devices means trains will no longer be required to blow their horns. This localization significantly reduces the noise pollution and irritation experienced by residents.

The city of Chico should be encouraged to consider this solution in the noise element of the upcoming General Plan process.

- Ed McLaughlin, Chico

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