Monday, March 20, 2017

Ohio lawsuit wants to put the brakes on NS humpyard noise

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The new hump and retarders under construction at right at Norfolk Southern's Moorman Yard in 2014. The new hump and retarders under construction at right at Norfolk Southern's Moorman Yard in 2014. Norfolk Southern photo

Residents of Bellevue, Ohio have filed a class-action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over what they charge is excessive noise from Moorman Yard.

The lawsuit filed March 16 by law firm Murray & Murray on behalf of two residents aims to quiet the piercing noise created by the railroad’s hump yard operations just off State Route 4.

The lawyers in the suit described it as “one of the most macabre forms of environmental contamination, in the form of noise pollution,” according to a report in the Sandusky Register.

Norfolk Southern in 2015 completed a $160-million upgrade at Bellevue, which included the construction of a new hump and installation of retarders.

The lawsuit states that the “unbearable” noise of classification from the retarders has been going on day and night for two years.

The suit charges Norfolk Southern did not include any noise-abatement at Moorman, and that screeching from the new retarders exceeds 100 decibels, similar to a jet flying overhead.

Active retarder noise is limited to 83 decibels, according to the Federal Railroad Administration regulations 49 CFR 210.33 and 49 CFR 210 Appendix A.

“Residents are unable to hold conversations, open windows or hear their televisions,” the lawsuit stated. “This has resulted in a nuisance, which has, in turn, decreased property values as well as in stress, adverse health impacts and loss of the enjoyment of life. None of this is necessary because Norfolk Southern has available to it sound-dampening (sic) options at a fraction of the cost of its investment.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Norfolk Southern did not respond to the paper’s request for comment.








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