Quiet zones end train horns in Commerce City

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- What began as a one-woman crusade by an Eagle Creek homeowner has ended up with a fifth quiet-zone crossing at 96th Street and Highway 2 in Commerce City.

“I began calling City Hall, the council, the mayor and up and up the ladder, and my complaints actually got heard,” said Dianna Ayala. “We made noise and actually were heard by lawmakers in Washington. This is amazing what we have done in the past four years.”

What the neighbors, who were tired of being awakened in the middle of the night by loud horns, did was ‘shake the trees’ enough to get congressmen Mark Udall, Ed Perlmutter and Michael Bennet to meet with the Federal Rail Administration to come up with a way to have train engineers, who are required to use a series of blast to warn motorists and pedestrians about approaching trains, to institute quiet zones. These zones would use automated horns instead of horns on trains.

“We cut red tape and made things happen with the help of the FRA," said Udall. "Now we hope to put these quite zones up in more than 100 other cities around the nation, where neighborhoods are also facing noise pollution from loud train horns."

By law, engineers must begin to sound train horns at least 15 seconds and no more than 20 seconds in advance of grade crossings. Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of two-long, one-short and one-long blast.

The maximum volume level for the train horn is 110 decibels, which is a new requirement. The minimum sound level remains 96 decibels.



  • Anthony

    Wow….for anyone that lives in this area…..let’s buy a new house close to the train tracks and then complain about it…..be smart people….

  • Robert Gift

    ^ The builders build housing developments on land which happens to be near tracks.
    What are people to do if they want to live in those houses?

    Rather you should ponder: Why horns when you have advance yellow (RXR) signs, crossbucks with bells, gates and lights and three bright locomotive lights?
    The engineer always has authority to blast the horn whenever needed.

  • The TRUTH

    When there is a fatality at one of these crossings because Johnny was driving home from work at 3am with headphones blazing music, we know who to blame.

  • Robert Gift

    ^ Usually Johnny can still SEE at 3am.
    If too stupid to notice four 12-inch diameter red flashing (o)T(o) and red lights on reflective red and white gates, let him become a Darwinner.

    (Wearing headphones while operating a motor vehicle is illegal.)

  • Rob

    Unreal….I am stupid enough to buy a house near the train tracks then complain about the noise. Any one figured out what sort of cost was involved in this issue? I am willing to bet there was 10s of thousands of dollars wasted on this poor spoiled development. By the time everyone met, engineers designed the set up, meetings, what a huge waste for a person who was dumb enough to buy a house near train tracks.

    Having lived by train tracks for years, it is amazing how a person get used to it… I mean I have definitely been surprised that I forgot all about the train.

    It is always good to see a spoiled community member make everyone else bow down for their own stupidity.

  • Anthony

    Rob couldn’t agree more.
    And Robert gift….the builders built the houses. The people CHOSE TO LIVE THERE!!!!! It wasn’t the people bought a house and they got assigned to a house by the train tracks. Anyone who buys a house right against HW2 then complains about traffic noise or trains really shouldn’t be buying a house…..the things were there before the house was built…..wow what a waist of money…..as rob said I would love to know the cost for this…..those houses are poorly built anyway don’t see why we are wasting the money

  • Rob

    Anyone else notice how the idiot liberal Udall calls this a threat to the city? Unreal how they want to make everything into a tragedy.

    Wish Fox 31 would find out how much money was wasted on the system, meetings, plane trips hotels, etc. To make this work?

  • Jennifer

    Last time I checked, if there is a train track this is a good indication there will be noise. If you don’t like the safety feature of the train then don’t buy a house by a set of train tracks. Same goes for the airport noise. This is all a no brainer folks!!!

  • SloCatch

    I think that it is appropriate for the trains to be responsible for the effects they instill on everyone. Long before this article I wondered why a train must wake up everyone in Denver on a regular basis just to pass through. They have an Engineer on board with every trip. Don’t Engineers solve problems on a daily basis? Is that what an Engineer does? Why can’t the trains pass through with respect instead of arrogance? They have a huge budget to work with and lots of technology to apply in every situation. They can upgrade any situation along the way; they own the land that they run on. I live 2 miles from the tracks and I am waked up consistently. They pollute just like a punk with a boom box.

  • Robert Gift

    Slo, because some people were too stupid to stop and look before crossing a railroad track, the railroads started having their locomotive engineers blow the whistle when approaching crossings.
    Now it is a requirement.
    At one time it was a long blast and a short blast.(Still is in China!)

    With (o)T(o), no horn blasting should be necessary.

  • Crazy Cat Lady

    Wait! I live not too far from I-25. The traffic noise is really bad. If I complain enough, maybe I can force the government to make the cars quieter or move the highway! It doesn’t matter that it was there 30 YEARS before I was, all that matters is that I want it quiet!!!!!

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