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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Sacramento agency to reduce train horns' decibel level


The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) recently replaced horns on its light-rail trains to comply with Federal Railroad Administration requirements and address area residents’ noise concerns.

Under the FRA’s train horn rule that took effect in June 2005, SacRT is required to begin sounding horns when trains pass through shared freight crossings. The agency had sounded horns prior to the rule, but the pattern and decibel level did not meet FRA requirements.

“Unfortunately, the change in audible warnings at grade crossings was very noticeable,” said SacRT Board Chairman Roger Dickinson in a prepared statement.

The agency now will sound a 75-decibel gong on all light-rail vehicles instead of a 100-decibel horn.

In addition, SacRT is working with Sacramento County, the cities of Sacramento and Rancho Cordova and the FRA to expand quiet zones.