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.