Edmonds’ wayside horn system to be activated June 5

A photo of the wayside horn, courtesy City of Edmonds.

The wait is nearly over for Edmonds’ wayside horn system, aimed at reducing frequent train horn noise at the city’s two at-grade railroad crossings at Main and Dayton Streets. The city announced Friday that the system will be activated on Wednesday, June 5.

Under Federal Railroad Admistration (FRA) regulations, train horns must be activated at each crossing to alert drivers and pedestrians of an oncoming train — and in Edmonds that can be frequent with daily crossings by Sounder Commuter, Amtrak, and Freight (BNSF) trains.

In an effort to reduce the overall impact of this noise, the city has been working with Quiet Zone Technologies (QZT) and BNSF on adding wayside horns at both crossings. BNSF successfully tested the system on May 13, paving the way for the horns to be activated on June 5.

The city said in an announcement that since the new horns are directly facing the approaching traffic, the noise will be more localized and the spread of the horn noise will be significantly reduced. Most individuals in all directions from the railroad crossings who currently hear the train horns will experience much lower noise levels. The exception will be those who are on the streets facing the horn.

 

 

11 Replies to “Edmonds’ wayside horn system to be activated June 5”

  1. This will be the most appreciated improvement to the quality of life for the most residents of Edmonds I can think of. Thank you to all who helped make it happen.

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  2. I grew up in Edmonds and the Train and Ferry sounds are part of the towns ambiance. I am frustrated when I hear newcomers who complain about the sounds that are inherent in a waterfront community. The trains and ferries were here long before you were. You moved here knowing that, so why, now, are you complaining about one of the wonderful features of our town. You are welcome here, but please, don’t try to change the community to fit you.

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  3. With so many distractions to pedestrians and drivers alike, ie cell phones, ear buds etc this wayside horn system will only contribute to injury & death on our waterfront. How long will it take?

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  4. I grew up on Phinney Ridge and have lived in Edmonds for 40 years. Growing up, the occasional sounds of the trains from Interbay and Ballard were haunting and pleasant. Over the last 40 years, the train traffic has increased dramatically. The constant blasts of the horns, in addition to all of the other increased noises in Edmonds, as well as the entire metro area, have become unendurable. Think Kenmore Air, rerouted jet traffic to Sea-Tac and Paine Field, gas blowers, the constant barking at the marsh from the dog kennel, increased marine traffic. The noise isn’t just impacting Orcas, it is causing stress and hypertension for everyone. The railroad horns are not inherent to a waterfront community. Many areas of Washington escaped the train traffic and its attendant noise. Ballard to Everett did not. If you love the sounds of railroad horns, Ms. Cook, there must be an app for that. For the rest of us, we’d like and appreciate a little less noise.

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    1. I agree, for those who enjoy, put the train horn noise on a phone app, then put on your ear buds and blast away. For myself it’s good riddance.

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  5. Thanks go to Peter Laylin and his committee who got the whole thing started. Letters and presentations to the city council. Support from most council members.

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  6. Hallelujah! Major train towns throughout California have horn free zones with these quieter horns and it’s a major improvement. Our condos aren’t even near the trains but the current horns wake everyone so we need to keep all windows closed. Horns are only needed for those in the vicinity for safety reasons and we are thankful Edmonds got on top of this issue.

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  7. It’s funny – I agree with all the letter writers – both sides. My wife & I can hear the horns at our house but we are far enough away that it is background noise only. The first horn we hear at 2am after being away causes us to smile, say ‘we’re home’ & roll over back to sleep.

    Walking along Sunset every morning though causes me to be aware of trains coming my way so I can plug my ears. Those suckers are LOUD!

    ‘An app for that’ – now THAT is funny!

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  8. I work right next to the train track crossing and this is seriously driving me crazy! Not only are the trains honking still. But, now there is another horn that honks too. And, though I have not actually counted the number of honks this system does each time (because I am actually working), I would swear it seems like they honk at least a dozen times per train. Is that really necessary?

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  9. I> live about two miles from the bowl, on Olympic View Drive, and I can hear the horns. Is it really necessary that they be so loud and go on for so long?

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