Ulster County Resident’s Want Train Horns Turned Off, Cite Health Reasons
Railroad noise pollution is a real thing and a group of Ulster County residents is asking one train company to shut off their horns.
If you live anywhere near active railroad tracks in the Hudson Valley, you are well aware that when a train comes through the area that can be extremely loud. Not only are the trains loud simply when they move but they can be even louder when they lay on their extremely loud horns. The loud horns have residents in a part of the Town of Ulster asking to be considered a quiet zone for trains.
Town of Ulster Residents Want "Quiet Zone' Status
Folks that live in the Glenerie Boulevard area in the Town of Ulster have asked the local town board to petition the CSX train company to silence their train horns when they run through the area passing around 30 houses according to the Daily Freeman. The Glenerie Lake Park Association has asked the board to request that CSX establish a quiet zone for about a quarter-mile on each side of the crossing.
The CSX train company run trains up and down the Hudson Valley at all times of the day, and when those trains are making their way through the area they are required to sound their horns when they approach any type of public grade crossing. The train horn rule states that locomotive engineers must start to sound the train horn at 15 seconds and no more than 20 seconds in advance of all public grade crossings.
Loud Train Horns are Bad for Resident's Health
Resident Linda Fallon was on hand Thursday to make the quiet zone request and explained to the board that the loud horns could have harmful health implications saying,
"There are…medical studies over 40 years that show that for those who live near the railroad the horn noise disturbs sleep which could, in turn, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and is a possible link to hypertension."
Fallon went on to say, "For anybody who says one gets used to the noise, studies indicate that sleep is disturbed. One medical study indicates that using ear plugs, leaving a fan on, even closing the drapes or windows doesn’t completely resolve the issue of the railroad noise pollution."
Town Board Promises to Try
Area Councilman Clayton VanKleeck responded to the request by saying that unfortunately residents' options in dealing with CSX are extremely limited telling the Freeman, "I’ve lived next to the railroad all my life, I know how much power I (don’t) have. We can’t promise you anything because it’s the railroad. We can promise you we will try."
When and if CSX responded to the request we will update this article with the results.