Neighborhood life
4:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

No relief from train horns in Hartwell and nearby communities

Credit Provided from City of Cincinnati

A railroad company is rejecting Cincinnati's request to reduce train horn noise in the city's Hartwell neighborhood and other nearby communities.  

CSX Transportation said in a June letter to the city's transportation and engineering department it will not approve the use of wayside horns along it tracks running through Hartwell.  It would have also benefited Wyoming, Lockland, Woodlawn and Glendale.  

The idea is for a horn sound to come through a loudspeaker at a railroad crossing instead of the from the train itself.  The wayside horns are not as loud.

In a memo a city official said CSX does not feel the wayside horn technology is reliable, and that many communities that had installed them have since removed them.  

The railroad said the only option it would support is the installation of a four-quad gate system, which would prevent vehicles from crossing the train tracks if a warning horn were not sounded.  Those gates carry a price of about $500,000 per crossing, money Cincinnati and the other communities do not have.  The wayside horns cost about $60,000 each.  

Right now train engineers are required to blow their horns a quarter mile before each roadway crossing.  

Some residents hear it a lot especially when several crossings are located close together.  

For now Cincinnati officials and those in the other communities are dropping the idea of setting up quiet zones along the CSX corridor.