July 19, 2009

Train noise unsettles Californians

Residents of California between Oceanside and Escondido have a problem with a new train horn, a spokeswoman for the North County Transit District said.

We're getting a lot of push-back from the community, Sarah Benson said.

The light-rail system known as The Sprinter is ready for its fourth set of horns. The first was too loud, the second wore out and the third is both too loud and too long, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.

U.S. and California regulations require trains to sound their horns just before a crossing but government officials acknowledge the sound is very loud.

The new horns sound more like a freight train than a light rail, residents along the 22-mile line complained. The new ones register louder than the originals, 93 decibels vs. 85.

The Sprinter controversy is the latest in a series of controversies involving train noise from California to Florida, the Union-Tribune reported.