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Connecticut will become the first New England state to install wayside horn systems at various rail crossings as part of a noise mitigation program, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced yesterday.Installed as part of the state's noise mitigation effort along the CTrail Hartford Line, the first horn became operational yesterday at the Cooper Street crossing in Meriden, CTDOT officials said in a press release."As we gear up for service launch on the Hartford Line, we are eager to be at the forefront of wayside horn system installation in Connecticut and recognize the benefits it brings to communities along the line," said CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker.A wayside horn system consists of stationary horns mounted on poles at active grade crossings. The system replaces train-mounted horns, which typically are activated up to a 1/2 mile in advance of the crossing. By focusing audible warnings toward the roadways approaching grade crossings, wayside horns reduce noise associated with railroad grade crossings, CTDOT officials said.The wayside horn installation helps CTDOT satisfy a condition of the 2012 Environmental Assessment prepared for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Program, which requires passenger-train noise to be mitigated near residential neighborhoods, schools and recreational areas.The CTrail Hartford Line will provide more frequent, convenient and faster passenger-rail service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield by increasing the number of round trip trains from six daily Amtrak intercity and regional trains to a total of 17 round trip trains a day to Hartford, and 12 trains per day to Springfield.
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