Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Caltrain lowers volume of train horns

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Caltrain announced Tuesday it has completed a project to reduce the volume of its horns to the previous level.  A regulator valve that allows the volume to be precisely set has been installed on all of Caltrain’s operating locomotives and cab cars.

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The agency said residents close to Caltrain service may continue to notice the horns for two reasons: because the horns are positioned higher on the trains, the sound is dispersed over a wider area; and because engineers are now able to perform the required sequential blast. Caltrain moved the horns from underneath the trains to the top of the trains when it was discovered that the horns could not produce the sequential blasts required by federal law.

Caltrain also said it is working with an independent engineering firm to determine if the horns can be mounted under the train and still meet federal regulations.  In order to accomplish this, a new air supply system must be designed, tested and, assuming that the testing is successful, installed on all of Caltrain’s equipment.  Caltrain estimates it will take about four weeks for work on a prototype to be completed. 
 
“We appreciate the public’s patience as we continue to work toward a long-term solution,” said Caltrain Deputy CEO Chuck Harvey in a statement. 
 
Caltrain operates through 55 crossings (including 11 stations with pedestrian crossings) between San Francisco and San Jose.