Train Horns Getting Louder?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
narcoleptish
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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby narcoleptish » Thu May 09, 2013 10:17 pm

lukpac wrote:Not sure what you mean by this.


In short, that the minimal, and livable, nighttime horn blowing that was the norm for the first 40 or so years of my life, gave way to what we have today because of people from my very own generation who just love to fix things that aren't broken.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby lukpac » Thu May 09, 2013 10:24 pm

narcoleptish wrote:In short, that the minimal, and livable, nighttime horn blowing that was the norm for the first 40 or so years of my life, gave way to what we have today because of people from my very own generation who just love to fix things that aren't broken.


I doubt the guys blowing the horns give two shits either way.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby narcoleptish » Thu May 09, 2013 11:05 pm

So you see no correlation between the rise in train horn complaints and the rise in volume and length of nighttime train horns?

I do.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby lukpac » Thu May 09, 2013 11:21 pm

narcoleptish wrote:So you see no correlation between the rise in train horn complaints and the rise in volume and length of nighttime train horns?

I do.


Not really.

Pretty sure the horns are either on or off. Doubt the engineers can make them any louder (or softer).

And if they are doing more than the standard horn - two long, one short, one long - record it and complain. Otherwise they are just doing their job.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby narcoleptish » Fri May 10, 2013 8:57 am

I think anyone who lives in the Goodman Center area will tell you that there is a louder/softer capability. The aforementioned polite engineer gives long toots of about a second at a low volume. The others go up to 5 seconds with the volume steadily increasing.

lukpac wrote: record it and complain


My whole point here is that the complaints have been the cause of the increasingly louder horns. They are "just doing their job", in that they use the correct and allowable sequence, but they can do that in a normal and polite manner, like they always used to, or they can be fucking obnoxious because they're sick of all the whiners in Madison complaining about them just doing their jobs.

It's human nature. What if you had a big ugly camper parked in your driveway all the time and someone buys the house next door and proceeds to repeatedly complain about how they don't like looking at it and think you should find somewhere else to store it? It's perfectly within your rights to have the camper there and it was there when they looked at their house. Would you feel the need to remove it? Or would you wish that you could make it even bigger and uglier?

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby lukpac » Fri May 10, 2013 9:14 am

narcoleptish wrote:I think anyone who lives in the Goodman Center area will tell you that there is a louder/softer capability. The aforementioned polite engineer gives long toots of about a second at a low volume. The others go up to 5 seconds with the volume steadily increasing.


Different engines have different horns.

narcoleptish wrote:My whole point here is that the complaints have been the cause of the increasingly louder horns. They are "just doing their job", in that they use the correct and allowable sequence, but they can do that in a normal and polite manner, like they always used to, or they can be fucking obnoxious because they're sick of all the whiners in Madison complaining about them just doing their jobs.


Again, I seriously question that this is such a cause and effect situation. Regardless, if they *are* going over the line, actually providing evidence to the Commissioner of Railroads (as opposed to just bitching here or in a letter to the editor) might actually result in something happening.

http://ocr.wi.gov/

There's also this:

The federal regulations are very specific about the sounding of the bell and horn for grade crossings. The punishment for failure to comply can be quite severe, especially if there is an accident at the crossing. Having said that, myself and others that I have worked with would try to choke back the horn at night, in deference to those sleeping in the communities we passed through. However, after hearing about several cases of collisions at crossings at other railroads and the ensuing lawsuits/FRA actions, and several close calls on ours, I do not hold back no matter the time of day or size of crossing. And in my current position as a DSLE (Designated Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers) I have advised all engineers that I work with not to either. I'm not going to let some snake-skin lawyer ruin my or my co-workers career because we tried to be nice. As harsh as it may sound, kaitoku's advise is the best, petition the city for a quiet zone.


http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 6#p1117659

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 17, 2013 1:30 pm

On a related issue (I didn't want to start a new thread): Mayor calls 40-min. railway crossing delay 'horrendous'

I've had to wait 20 minutes or so in the past. If an ambulance gets stuck, the results could be deadly. Madison has only so many streets that go through the Isthmus and a long train could block nearly all of them.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby ralphie w » Fri May 17, 2013 5:28 pm

I just started sleeping with the windows open again and twice this week was awakened by a barrage of constant tooting. Not 2 shorts and one long or whatever but a horn going off every few seconds for probably 15 minutes. The nearest train track is probably a mile away as the crow flies but anticipating the next one and thinking the guy was grinning and giving Madison a big fuck you was not conducive to sleep.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby lukpac » Fri May 17, 2013 6:56 pm

ralphie w wrote:I just started sleeping with the windows open again and twice this week was awakened by a barrage of constant tooting. Not 2 shorts and one long or whatever but a horn going off every few seconds for probably 15 minutes. The nearest train track is probably a mile away as the crow flies but anticipating the next one and thinking the guy was grinning and giving Madison a big fuck you was not conducive to sleep.


Where is a mile away as the crow flies? I live off of John Nolen, and most of the time I can hear (albeit sometimes softly) trains on the isthmus, trains in the campus area, and trains in Bay Creek, and I don't recall ever hearing something like that. There's a lot of horn blowing on the isthmus, but not "every few seconds".

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby gargantua » Sat May 18, 2013 11:51 am

Don't know about Ralphie, but I live about a mile from the tracks that run parallel to University Ave. by the Blackhawk golf course and behind the State Records Center.

Usually happens @2 or 3 am, the horn tooting is frequent, long, and lengthy. I'm not complaining, simply reporting. I have long ago accepted things like that as part of what comes with living in a city. I tend to agree with Narco's take, but it's hard to prove either way unless one of the horn-blowers comes on and says, yeah, we do it on purpose because we hate you Madisonians, or, no, it's all about safety, honest.

I think it's about safety, with a side of malice.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:05 am

Henry Vilas wrote:On a related issue (I didn't want to start a new thread): Mayor calls 40-min. railway crossing delay 'horrendous'

I've had to wait 20 minutes or so in the past. If an ambulance gets stuck, the results could be deadly. Madison has only so many streets that go through the Isthmus and a long train could block nearly all of them.

Follow up. An ambulance did get stuck.

Railroad malfunction ties up traffic almost 2 hours

Madison police said they were called to John Nolen Drive at Broom Street and North Shore Drive after 6 p.m. after motorists reported they had already been stuck in traffic about a half hour. Officers found the gates had gone down, but there was no train.

Seven police officers tried to lift arms and move vehicles to get an ambulance through the congestion, according to police. An officer found nylon straps in his squad car’s truck that were used to hold two rail crossings up.

Malfunctioning railroad arms and long trains are becoming more common in Madison, and they're increasingly a danger to public safety, Madison Police Lt. Kelly Donahue said.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby lukpac » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:09 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:On a related issue (I didn't want to start a new thread): Mayor calls 40-min. railway crossing delay 'horrendous'

I've had to wait 20 minutes or so in the past. If an ambulance gets stuck, the results could be deadly. Madison has only so many streets that go through the Isthmus and a long train could block nearly all of them.

Follow up. An ambulance did get stuck.

Railroad malfunction ties up traffic almost 2 hours


Except that ambulance getting stuck didn't have anything to do with a train.

Madison police said they were called to John Nolen Drive at Broom Street and North Shore Drive after 6 p.m. after motorists reported they had already been stuck in traffic about a half hour. Officers found the gates had gone down, but there was no train.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:13 am

Not a train, but the fault still lies with Wisconsin and Southern Railroad.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby david cohen » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:47 am

I hate the fucking trains that clog up the Isthmush and the northside, but at least I have time to break out in song when I am stuck in the mess they create....

I was riding number 9
Headed south 'cross Carolina
I heard that lonseome
lonseome Whistle Blow
I got in trouble
I had to roam
I left my girl
I left my home
I heard that lonesome
lonesome Whistle blow

...and it reminds me of the poor men stuck in a place like Louisiana's Angola Prison and how when they hear that lonesome whistle, they ain't waiting for traffic, they're just waiting...

locked up in this cell
until my body's just a shell...


I always hear the 2am lonesome whistle as it rolls north up the W&S tracks, even with my windows shut.

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Re: Train Horns Getting Louder?

Postby Crockett » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:52 pm

gargantua wrote:Don't know about Ralphie, but I live about a mile from the tracks that run parallel to University Ave. by the Blackhawk golf course and behind the State Records Center.

Usually happens @2 or 3 am, the horn tooting is frequent, long, and lengthy. I'm not complaining, simply reporting. I have long ago accepted things like that as part of what comes with living in a city. I tend to agree with Narco's take, but it's hard to prove either way unless one of the horn-blowers comes on and says, yeah, we do it on purpose because we hate you Madisonians, or, no, it's all about safety, honest.

I think it's about safety, with a side of malice.


I've lived in cities with trains and their noise usually doesn't even register in my brain.

But there have been a few instances where I can HEAR the purposeful hate and anger of the train engineers on that particular stretch of track.


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