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San Diego commuter train quieter?

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New San Diego Commuter Train Quieter Than Many Expected – The new Sprinter commuter train has begun test runs along lines that closely abut many residential areas in North County, CA, near San Diego. First impressions seem positive, with many residents noting the much quieter horns being used as the train approaches the many road crossings: the car-like horn sounds at just 85dB, as compared to standard freight and commuter train horns at 107dB. Tom Kelleher, a spokesman for the transit district, said he always expected the public to find the Sprinter much easier to live with than other passenger trains that traverse North County. “I think people really thought it was going to be like a Coaster type of engine,” he said. “We’re glad they’re starting to realize that it’s not.” In Oceanside, Brett Albright, whose home is near College and Oceanside boulevards, said the Sprinter’s warning horn does not make him cringe. “College (Boulevard) is more noisy than the train. It’s not an issue for me. I don’t really notice it,” Albright said, as a semi-tractor-trailer released its cacophonous brake in the background, filling the neighborhood with a pulsing roar. Plans to create Quiet Zones, where barriers would allow trains to pass without blowing their horn at all, are in flux as municipalities monitor the new trains. In Vista, the city will see whether the full schedule of trains spurs more complaints, while in San Marcos, city Engineer Mike Edwards said, “It’s quiet enough that we no longer feel it’s necessary.” Source: North County Times, 1/5/08 [READ ARTICLE]

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