Train Horns at RR Crossing

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Train Horns at RR Crossing
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:53 PM

Not sure if I like this new warning system with the train horn perm at the RR crossing, it makes a lot more noise than if the engineer just blew the horn on approach.    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg0LprKh_ic

 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:31 PM

What the heck? Whaaattt? As Gump says " stupid is as stupid does"

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Friday, April 27, 2018 12:00 AM

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

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Posted by BOB WITHORN on Friday, April 27, 2018 6:58 AM

I agree Chuck, way too funny.  Welcome to La-La Land.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, April 27, 2018 7:45 AM

Video is from 2011 - I presume no changes have been made in the ensuing 7 years?

         

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, April 27, 2018 7:51 AM

CMStPnP
Not sure if I like this new warning system with the train horn perm at the RR crossing, it makes a lot more noise than if the engineer just blew the horn on approach.

More directed noise, I guess. 

 

If you're going to go through all the trouble to install those, just do what it takes to make it a quiet zone, IMO.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, April 27, 2018 8:07 AM

BaltACD

Video is from 2011 - I presume no changes have been made in the ensuing 7 years?

 

According to the comments in the newspaper?, the situation has been remedied.

I do take issue with the "two shorts" when the train leaves the station. In my experience (onother roads), they have been shorts, blown before any movement.

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:31 PM

More common than you would think and Zugster is correct on the directed noise issue. Regardless, the morons still ignore the warnings.

I really have little sympathy regarding the noise complaints. The people whining ought to pay for the QZ, especially the inevitable accident costs in the stupid zone.

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by tree68 on Friday, April 27, 2018 4:39 PM

Deggesty
I do take issue with the "two shorts" when the train leaves the station. In my experience (onother roads), they have been shorts, blown before any movement.

A friend says the first thing that should move is the bell.  In my experience, the two shorts usually do come just before the train moves (as called for in the rules), but I've got no real quibble with them occuring just as the train starts to move.

If that horn is timed to the crossings, than that's how it is.  However, it appears that it is located at the crossing by the station, not by the other crossings.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, April 27, 2018 5:03 PM

mudchicken
I really have little sympathy regarding the noise complaints. The people whining ought to pay for the QZ, especially the inevitable accident costs in the stupid zone.

In all seriousness, if a crossing has quad gates or the median barriers, do train horns really matter?  If someone is wanting to run a crossing with all that stuff in place, I doubt a few honks will do crap.   I sometimes wonder if all the blowing we do causes the horns to become simple background noise anymore. 

 

Disclaimer:  Follow all rules and regulations pertaining to proper horn blowing.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, April 27, 2018 5:06 PM

tree68
A friend says the first thing that should move is the bell.

If my E-bell moves, something is wrong. But yeah, unless doing switching with momentary starts and stops, you ring the bell.  Also a bone of contention with me and newer EMDs* that have the bell switch up high.  The nice thing with it being down low (where it should be!) is that it's next to the indep. handle. Easy to ring it as your hand moves to release that handle.    

 

*-headlight swithces, too.  I swear whomever at EMD/Progress/Cat/whoever this week designed their latest control stand never ran an engine, and never asked anyone that did/does.

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Posted by zardoz on Friday, April 27, 2018 8:35 PM

zugmann
Disclaimer:  Follow all rules and regulations pertaining to proper horn blowing.

Thank you, Horatio.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Hornblower

 

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, April 27, 2018 8:36 PM

RDCs live! 

I didn't see the horns until about 4:17 of the 5:19 video - on a mast above the signal bungalow to the right of the photo, with pretty small 'bells'.  

RDC horn sounds better anyway.

- PDN. 

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, April 27, 2018 8:38 PM

zardoz
Thank you, Horatio.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your rulebooks.

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Posted by traisessive1 on Saturday, April 28, 2018 3:46 PM

I don't understand the point of silencing the actual train horn and then installing these. 

Just make it a quiet zone. You don't even need quad gates. We have quiet zones here in Canada where the protection does not have a gate. The track speed is 25 mph, but it's still a quiet zone. 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 28, 2018 5:18 PM

traisessive1
I don't understand the point of silencing the actual train horn and then installing these. 

Just make it a quiet zone. You don't even need quad gates. We have quiet zones here in Canada where the protection does not have a gate. The track speed is 25 mph, but it's still a quiet zone. 

Canada and the US are separted by the NTSB, FRA and their rules and recommendations.

         

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Saturday, April 28, 2018 5:43 PM

traisessive1

I don't understand the point of silencing the actual train horn and then installing these. 

Just make it a quiet zone. You don't even need quad gates. We have quiet zones here in Canada where the protection does not have a gate. The track speed is 25 mph, but it's still a quiet zone. 

By putting the sound device at the crossing, the sound is loud AT the crossing, where it is needed, the whole time, instead of increasing in volume as the train gets closer.  AND you are not disturbing people a 1/4 mile away from the crossing, trying to alert the traffic at the crossing, by a horn loud enough to be heard at the location it is needed.

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:39 PM

Semper Vaporo

 

 
traisessive1

I don't understand the point of silencing the actual train horn and then installing these. 

Just make it a quiet zone. You don't even need quad gates. We have quiet zones here in Canada where the protection does not have a gate. The track speed is 25 mph, but it's still a quiet zone. 

 

By putting the sound device at the crossing, the sound is loud AT the crossing, where it is needed, the whole time, instead of increasing in volume as the train gets closer.  AND you are not disturbing people a 1/4 mile away from the crossing, trying to alert the traffic at the crossing, by a horn loud enough to be heard at the location it is needed.

 

As Zug mentioned, the sound is also directed towards the approaching roads.  This is supposed to lessen the sound for those further away from the crossing.

Ames, IA did go from the Automated Horn System to a full (un)blown Quiet Zone.  In Ames, the city was responsible for maintenance of the system.  If the horns didn't sound, crews would contact the dispatcher who then would contact the city.  Probably incentive to go fully quiet.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, April 30, 2018 2:26 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr
RDCs live! 

Trinity Railway Express has a small fleet of RDC's they keep for backup that they bought from VIA Rail Canada a long while ago (I believe they have 6 of them in total).     They keep them in excellent condition and they are always freshly washed but currently only used as backups and special scenarios.     

In this case they lent them out to the Denton A-Train operators because not all their Stadler DMU's were delivered by the time of start-up.

They also use them in the past for special event shuttles (Union Station to American Airlines Center shuttles for special events), State Fair shuttles to the remote parking lots, new rail line inspection, etc.

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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:54 AM

CMStPnP

 

 
Paul_D_North_Jr
RDCs live! 

 

Trinity Railway Express has a small fleet of RDC's they keep for backup that they bought from VIA Rail Canada a long while ago (I believe they have 6 of them in total).     They keep them in excellent condition and they are always freshly washed but currently only used as backups and special scenarios.     

In this case they lent them out to the Denton A-Train operators because not all their Stadler DMU's were delivered by the time of start-up.

They also use them in the past for special event shuttles (Union Station to American Airlines Center shuttles for special events), State Fair shuttles to the remote parking lots, new rail line inspection, etc.

 

CMStPnP

 

 
Paul_D_North_Jr
RDCs live! 

 

Trinity Railway Express has a small fleet of RDC's they keep for backup that they bought from VIA Rail Canada a long while ago (I believe they have 6 of them in total).     They keep them in excellent condition and they are always freshly washed but currently only used as backups and special scenarios.     

In this case they lent them out to the Denton A-Train operators because not all their Stadler DMU's were delivered by the time of start-up.

They also use them in the past for special event shuttles (Union Station to American Airlines Center shuttles for special events), State Fair shuttles to the remote parking lots, new rail line inspection, etc.

 

There also is a small fleet of RDC's (1-4) that are leased out on a term basis for this. Some appear to be maintained out of Southern Indiana on LNAC.

Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)....It would appear here, that even though this is a QZ, the crossing is bad enough to merit wayside horns instead of complete silence because the locals could not pony up the $$$$ to mitigate the crossing into total silence. That being said, if you look through the newswires here, you will see articles of local officials whining the thresholds are too restrictive (railroads the opposite) and too costly to mitigate...then the QZ's are removed after too many incidents, quad gates and all.

You operating guys don't see the kangaroo courts that pop up after crossing incidents after crossing incidents after  the motorists (and especially pedestrians) find a new way to eliminate stupid from the gene pool. It gets really bad after the train pulls away after being released. 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 9:17 AM

mudchicken
Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)...

Given that the protection is for highway vehicles from being struck by trains, it seems entirely appropriate that the primary voice should be from the impacted party. 

I live near the UP-West ROW, one of the busiest freight lines in the US, plus a heavy Metra schedule.  It is a quiet zone, fortunately, though horns can be blown rarely for miscellaneous purposes. There are no incidents.  And the town was here before the railroad, to rebut that silly contention in advance.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 3:49 PM

charlie hebdo
 
mudchicken
Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)... 

Given that the protection is for highway vehicles from being struck by trains, it seems entirely appropriate that the primary voice should be from the impacted party. 

I live near the UP-West ROW, one of the busiest freight lines in the US, plus a heavy Metra schedule.  It is a quiet zone, fortunately, though horns can be blown rarely for miscellaneous purposes. There are no incidents.  And the town was here before the railroad, to rebut that silly contention in advance.

If the highway interests want to assume all liability for incidents - they are more than welcome to make the rules; HOWEVER, that is not the case the highway interests want the railroads to assume all liability.  It makes no difference who was there first - the question is who get saddled with the liability issues.

         

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Posted by traisessive1 on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 3:49 PM

My point is you don't need any type of horn. 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 5:15 PM

BaltACD
 
charlie hebdo
 
mudchicken
Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)... 

Given that the protection is for highway vehicles from being struck by trains, it seems entirely appropriate that the primary voice should be from the impacted party. 

I live near the UP-West ROW, one of the busiest freight lines in the US, plus a heavy Metra schedule.  It is a quiet zone, fortunately, though horns can be blown rarely for miscellaneous purposes. There are no incidents.  And the town was here before the railroad, to rebut that silly contention in advance.

 

If the highway interests want to assume all liability for incidents - they are more than welcome to make the rules; HOWEVER, that is not the case the highway interests want the railroads to assume all liability.  It makes no difference who was there first - the question is who get saddled with the liability issues.

 

And apparently the number of vehicles running into the train behind the lead engine continues to grow. How is that the railroads fault? (often through the gate and into the train no less)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 5:37 PM

traisessive1

I don't understand the point of silencing the actual train horn and then installing these. 

Just make it a quiet zone. You don't even need quad gates. We have quiet zones here in Canada where the protection does not have a gate. The track speed is 25 mph, but it's still a quiet zone. 

TransportCanada enforced or local rule? (local rule was an abject failure in the lower 48...FRA outlawed the local rule because it repeatedly failed which spawned the QZ congressional pressure. Local entities now seem to think they have zero responsibility for their "finer citizens" and don't want to pay for the weak mitigation already in place to create QZ's. )

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:40 PM

BaltACD

 

 
charlie hebdo
 
mudchicken
Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)... 

Given that the protection is for highway vehicles from being struck by trains, it seems entirely appropriate that the primary voice should be from the impacted party. 

I live near the UP-West ROW, one of the busiest freight lines in the US, plus a heavy Metra schedule.  It is a quiet zone, fortunately, though horns can be blown rarely for miscellaneous purposes. There are no incidents.  And the town was here before the railroad, to rebut that silly contention in advance.

 

If the highway interests want to assume all liability for incidents - they are more than welcome to make the rules; HOWEVER, that is not the case the highway interests want the railroads to assume all liability.  It makes no difference who was there first - the question is who get saddled with the liability issues.

 

You seem to assume the rails have no liability.  On what basis?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, May 03, 2018 9:04 AM

charlie hebdo
 
BaltACD
 
charlie hebdo 
mudchicken
Zugs & JeffH: Part of my misgivings about QZ's is the formulae used to establish the things set up by FRA under some incredibly stupid political pressure with some really dumb threshold levels controlled and manipulated by a committee skewed by non-railroad interests (the railroaders are there, but out-voted by local highway input)... 

Given that the protection is for highway vehicles from being struck by trains, it seems entirely appropriate that the primary voice should be from the impacted party. 

I live near the UP-West ROW, one of the busiest freight lines in the US, plus a heavy Metra schedule.  It is a quiet zone, fortunately, though horns can be blown rarely for miscellaneous purposes. There are no incidents.  And the town was here before the railroad, to rebut that silly contention in advance. 

If the highway interests want to assume all liability for incidents - they are more than welcome to make the rules; HOWEVER, that is not the case the highway interests want the railroads to assume all liability.  It makes no difference who was there first - the question is who get saddled with the liability issues. 

You seem to assume the rails have no liability.  On what basis?

You aren't reading the statement correctly!

         

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 05, 2018 1:20 PM

BaltACD
charlie hebdo
 
BaltACD

... the question is who get saddled with the liability issues. 

You seem to assume the rails have no liability.  On what basis?

 You aren't reading the statement correctly!

 
This is really not a particularly complex issue, at least as regards liability.
 
To flesh out Balt's point a bit, it appears that most QZs are set up so that the engineer "has" to use the horn any time he sees a problem at a quiet crossing -- presumably whether vehicular or 'trespasser'-related, so there will always be a weasel-word assumption of liability either way: the engineer will either be cited for sounding the horn and then, maybe perhaps, be let off with only wasted time and prep expenses when he 'justifies' why he sounded the horn, or he will be deemed liable, or partially liable (which with American trial law may be tantamount to the company becoming nearly wholly liable) for damages if he keeps the horn quiet.  In my opinion, not only does this stack the deck unfairly against the railroad, it puts an exordinate amount of additional needless stress on the engineman who was already traumatized by the close calls encountered with full horn-blaring warning.
 
The point of the horns at crossings was adequately explained in the FRA research material on them ... as was the point of very high focal SPLs to help "ensure compliance" there.  There is little question in my mind at least that gates and crossing lights that activate long before a train is in sight, combined with the industry tendency toward agonizingly long trains with ridiculous wait times, are making it increasingly important to have a more immediate 'train is HERE' warning without making anyone who is not actually considering cutting across acutely aware too.  Dave Klepper in particular can explain just how well this can be done (probably better than in 'current' designs, too) and why it makes comparatively little sense to blast warnings from high-mounted circular-bell air horns when neighbors don't care to know.
 
There are more definitive ways to make crossings 'reasonably' safe -- one alternative being rising barriers, another being recording cameras (similar to red-light cameras) ACTIVELY enforced for both motorists and pedestrians/cyclists.  I would not expect politicians anywhere I have lived to support those things for very long once the usual sorts of financial bite, selective enforcement, etc. began to be evident.  The issue of designing 'fenders' for intentional/unintentional suicides with headphones is another issue ... but is it the railroad's obligation to preserve life for lawbreakers when the local community doesn't enforce access restriction?
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, May 06, 2018 11:51 AM

In most locales, if a homeowner has a backyard pool, it is his obligation to have it fenced in sufficiently to prevent intruders from easily entering it, trespassing or not.  No property insurance carrier will offer him liability insurance without such precautions from this hazard. I think a similar case could be made for the rails, to more adequately secure their non-constant hazard while at the same time allowing for proper access.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, May 07, 2018 11:28 AM

charlie hebdo
I think a similar case could be made for the rails, to more adequately secure their non-constant hazard while at the same time allowing for proper access.

While this may be possible for a grade separated line, it would be nearly impossible to achieve with the bulk of the lines today.

Even wildlife groups would speak up - a 6 foot chain link fence along a right of way with no breaks to allow wildlife to pass would certainly irk them, and humans would make use of such breaks anyhow.

Like drawbridges, there is the question of who gets the primary access at road (and other) crossings - do the gates close across the tracks and open to let trains through (and block road access), or vice versa?

I've noted before that during my working days I drove across a specific crossing twice a day (and sometimes more) and rarely, if ever, saw anything on the tracks.  I know better, but to a casual observer, that might indicate that the tracks are very rarely used, so being on them shouldn't be a problem.  Yet the speed limit on the line is 40 MPH.  

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