City of Fort Collins Testing Quieter ‘Wayside’ Train Horns – What Are They?
Imagine train horns not being on the trains at all, but at railroad crossings. That's the idea behind these "new" horns that other cities have implemented.
Three train lines run through The Choice City, including the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe line, or BNSF, which runs parallel to College Avenue. This is the line that the City of Fort Collins will be running a test of the 'wayside' train horns on Friday, April 8, 2022.
With wayside train horns the City of Fort Collins looks to make the Mason corridor less noisy for residents and businesses in the area. These horns are permanently installed at crossings and sound when a train approaches. This way, the train isn't "blaring" its horn for a mile before the crossing and a mile after.
In addition, the horns (speakers) are directed at oncoming traffic; which makes a lot of sense, as opposed to the horns being on the front of trains, blaring down the tracks. It really seems, to me, to be a prefect idea.
With the testing, the city will be checking decibel levels of the wayside horns as compared to the regular train horns. Many say that the wayside horns are much quieter than the train-mounted horns. If the testing goes well, the new horns will have to be approved by the Federal Railroad Association, as part of a multi-year project.
When the Washington (State) Department of Transportation posted their video of the how the wayside horns work, there were more than a few comments:
Why not just change the horn sequence to one long blast sounded a few seconds from the train crossing?
I prefer the use of train horns. [107 likes]
Actually it is a good idea some places, especially if the train horns wake the whole neighborhood up. These digital horns concentrate the sound by the crossing (the people that need to hear it) and reduce the amount of noise elsewhere.
The city's test will be between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on April 8, 2022, at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Mason Street. I think it would be interesting to see the testing in process.