March 2010 home page

  Knock It Off!
Jim Benedict | Christie Lane

Long a very irritating part of Del Mar life has been the exceedingly loud and intrusive train horns as AMTRAK, freight trains, and the Coaster rumble through our community. The effect of these trains is felt in a very overwhelming way for those who live near the tracks and by residents that live well up the hill.

A solution may be on the way – A Quiet Zone created at our one and only railroad crossing.

What is a quiet zone? For our community it will be recommended that two horns be placed at the intersection that blow for each and every train that passes through our community. These horns, pointed westward could reduce noise levels up to 98% as reported by a quiet zone consulting company. The good news also is that all trains approaching the Del Mar crossing are not supposed to blow their horns at all anymore. Emergencies and danger, of course, would override this mandate.

And the cost of this quiet zone is a fraction of the cost of constructing a very unattractive gate at the intersection. The estimated cost of the gate, as presented by our staff is over $1 million. The estimated cost of the Quiet Zone horn is less than $150,000!

Many thanks to the terrific work by Hershell Price and Lee Stein for driving this project for our community.

Stay tuned for a public workshop in the spring.


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