Why do we put up with KCS’ noisy trains?

Yes, the horns are loud – about 140 db, someone said – enough to cause permanent damage to the ears, and certainly enough to make sleeping a miserable experience. KCS doesn’t care – it’s obvious from their actions and their statements. Everything that’s been tried with them has failed. Perhaps it’s time for picket signs and a camp out on the railroad tracks. What’s your opinion?

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Published in: on April 29, 2007 at 8:17 pm  Comments (9)  

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  1. 1st of all, Malcolm, congratulations on this Blog site – great idea! When I owned Annabelle BB I considered camping on the RR track with Cliff Whitney Sr. of The Corners. He became ill and we just never got to do it but someone really should – and get arrested and keep doing it until it becomes at least state wide news. The db level we actually read was 126 which is eight times over what the human ear can stand – 96 db – since the noise level doubles each 10 dbs. Just talk to Skippy Tuminello – if he can hear you. Yesterday I returned from Italy where we rode the train from Milan to Florence (at a speed of 300 KM – 180 Miles p/ hour) to Venice (300 KM/p hour) and back to Milan (200 KM – 120 miles p/hr.) NO HORNS AT ALL. All crossings are either under/over passes or have gates. It is shame our RR is so antiquated.

  2. Good to hear from you, George! Italy? You lucky rat! Us working poor are stuck here in the USA. Skipper Guiezrix, who bought the house at Klein and Pearl Streets, has taken up the Cause of the Horn. He’s had meetings with neighbors and contacts with legislators and KCS officials, but has apparently not accomplished his mission. Like you and I agree, only a protest march atop the tracks will get KCS’ attention. I’m willing. And I’m sure you’d skip Italy for a good sit-in. Right?

  3. Had Alan Moore of Baker Donelson (top transportaion attorney in the state) over for a lunch which included three of our county supervisors. Received Carl Flanders pledge to vote with us, but Richard George ended up turning him around when the time came. This close to the election I chose to try to make it an issue to be addressed by all the candidates with this letter to the editor in Sunday’s Post:

    Railing On

    The railroad operates in order to make money and like any other profitable business they are concerned only with what will decrease costs and increase revenues. Many years ago the City of Vicksburg had an industrial base that profited the railroad, but now our city is just another stretch of track to get them wherever they are going.

    The railroad has absolutely no regard for our citizenry. They obstruct rail crossings for thirty minutes to an hour at a time. They disregard any attempt to minimize their horns, noise or vibration. And they have even been unresponsive to those whose property has eroded due to their track construction.

    Problem is, the railroad can only cross the river on a bridge owned by the people of Warren County. The rate we charge for crossing that bridge was set over fifty years ago, but in 2005 our Bridge Commission finally tried to update the railroad’s fees. Unfortunately they have refused to pay an increase of any kind.

    The crossing rate being collected today is less than a third of what we would like to collect and less that a fourth of what is customary for other railroad crossings. By my calculation, the railroad is cheating the people of Warren County out of almost half a million dollars a month! And now they even have the audacity to try to prevent us from using our own bridge.

    It is time for our Supervisors, or maybe some of the candidates that are running for Supervisor to step up and make sure that the people who actually own the bridge receive the full benefit we deserve.

    Skipper Guizerix
    500 Klein Street

    As I understand it, the only political body that has real authority here is the County. Such a shame that they are so disfunctional.

  4. Skipper, they are only going to pay attention when you get the attention of the public – and I mean more than the public in Vicksburg, who are about as apathetic as people anywhere in the USA. Cochran and Lott and Thompson are going to ignore the situation until it looks like it could get them some votes. Wheter a sit-in, or an internet campaign involving other people across the country who are having similar problems, or some other means, you’re going to have to get some broad support and media coverage. And you’re right about our supervisors – they’re a shame. I lost faith in them when they refused to convene a public meeting to discuss high gas prices in Vicksburg – and they’ve done nothing since to restore any confidence in their ability to represent the people of Warren County. Malcolm

  5. Hello my name is Paul    I read your article about the train noise.  Well I also live near a train track, So People against train noise pollution I know exactly what your going through . Years ago I read about how one old lady living in Dallas Texas area sued the Dallas Airport and how she made the Dallas love field airport shut down and move,   Because of the noise pollution they were making by the air crafts take off and landings which caused excessive noise  over her house, and others around her.  And so  by court order they had to move or buy everyone out that was affected by the noise they were causing .  Because it was noise pollution. And noise  pollution is illegal.  So now needless to say we have the Dallas Fort Worth International airport . Also in Miami Fl. The residents next to the Miami International Airport had the same problem with the noise from the airplanes and found out about the Dallas incident and they sued the airport for noise pollution against them and won needless to say the airport bought them out by court order. So I believe that if the government won’t take action against these noise polluting trains on a criminal base, Then I believe we the people that are affected by the noisy trains should start a class act lawsuit against them on civil level .  Think about it !!   Have you ever heard of a resident who has been warned by the police to lower the noise because their stereo was to loud or a person driving a car with noisy muffler got that person cited for the noisy muffler?   Every town has a noise ordnance because noise has been pr oven to be  harmful to our mental health,  It’s a scientific fact!    So why do they think their above the law??    If they were to run their trains through neighborhoods no faster than 10 mph and install crossing guards then they wouldn’t need to sound the horn and put off alot of noise by the fast moving train and nerve shattering screaming horns.   Let them pay, Not us with our health…     If you agree let’s start by getting as many people who are affected by these noisy trains together and sue for our rights and for the damage they have caused to our lives.

  6. Why do you people move into houses next to railroad tracks if you cant stand the noise of the trains? Why move next to an airport if you cant stand the noise of the planes? You pick your home location and then try to change whats around it that has been there long before you were there? And then get pissed off because it DOESN’T change! Give me a break. They’re not listening because it’s ridiculous. Use your head, if you don’t like it…MOVE!

  7. First of all the track was there long before you or your home. Second, the federal gov’t regulates train horns, and how many decibels they’re supposed to be and when they are to be blown. The engineer is required to blow the horn for at least 15 seconds before entering a public road crossing, and on most locomotives the engineer has no control over how loud the horn sounds. The only way around it is to apply for a federal locomotive horn quiet zone. This requires substantial investment in crossing gates that are set up in all four quadrants so people can’t drive around them. So what good you think you’re going to do with your little protest, I have no idea. The only thing you’re going to accomplish by “camping out on the railroad track” is to land every camper in jail. Do you think you would be allowed to camp out on an interstate highway ? Its no different, you are dealing with interstate commerce and a large profitable corporation regulated by federal law. Also, most people who live near a railroad get used to the sounds and don’t even notice. Try that.

  8. I too bought near a train track in Baton Rouge. When we purchased, the trains were not a problem. The noise goes up and down depending on the conductor, as does the quantity of horn sounds. If 85 db is the threshold of hearing damage, then why are the horns not set at a max. of 85 db? 170 db is way too loud. Also, WHY would you need a train to sound a horn in a quiet subdivision at 4am when all are sleeping and with no traffic in sight? It would seem that the arms and bell sound are enough at the traffic sight to keep the trains from having to blow their horns in the dead of night….some which are so loud that you almost get thrown out of bed. Then, there are some conductors that think it’s a game to blow their horn 20 times. If this were your alarm you’d hum it across the room. I believe there should be something in place which can be safe, yet still allow people to sleep. And, it’s not just the people who are adjacent to the tracks who hear the loudness…it’s people blocks away. Sleep deprivation is a real issue. Why does the gov’t ignore train noise yet heeds the call of Interstate traffic by use of sound walls? I think the gov’t should address each crossing adjacent to home side by shielding them from hearing damage. Perhaps we should all ban together and issue a common suit.

  9. They must sound the horns at 4 AM because it will be people like you that will be the first to sue when you get him by the train because “you never heard it coming”. There have been cases of engineers going to jail because they were trying to be courteous and not sounding the horn at night, only to hit and kill someone and have the family sue them. If people weren’t so incredibly stupid around trains all the horn use wouldn’t be necessary. If you by a horn house by the tracks then expect to deal with the horn, I grew up in a house a block from the tracks and after awhile it didn’t bother me in the least, actually missed it when we moved to a new house. It seems these days people have lost the ability to just deal with things without trying to protest or sue.


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