go blow yer horn

I was sitting here in my living room tonight when a train went by.  My house is just under 475 or so yards from the tracks that run through the Mount Vernon/Cloverbank area, so I hear a lot of trains.  Mostly I just block them out, but in the summer with the windows open the horns on those trains cuts through everything.  Not to mention the sound of the engines grinding their way out of Buffalo with loads of who-knows-what, and the inbounds with things for the city to live on.

The reason I mention this is that there is a push underway by some Hamburg Town Board members and other politicos to establish a "quiet zone" for the trains between the grade crossings at Rogers Road and out to I think Lakeview Road.  The railroads are balking, saying that the horns save lives by warning those not paying attention.  Homeowners and others on the area say that with advances in technology and using the correct techniques, the crossings can be made safe enough to discontinue the use of the train whistles.  Then maybe some of those folks can get some sleep.  I swear that there are houses not even 100 feet from the tracks.  How the heck anyone could stand it is beyond me.

The railroads claim that the tracks have run through these neighborhoods for over 100 years, so there's no one that didn't know about the noise before they moved in.  In other words – you knew about it, live with it.  I say if there's a way to do it without compromising safety, let's turn them whistles off.  I knew the trains were loud when I moved here, but does that mean I have to live with it forever?   But I'm really wondering if anyone has any experience with either the noise of trains or the "quiet zones"?


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