Argyle Looks to Silence Loud Train Horns - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Argyle Looks to Silence Loud Train Horns

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    Argyle Looks to Silence Loud Train Horns

    The town of Argyle is considering changes to quiet the horns of passing freight trains. (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018)

    The town of Argyle is working with a consultant to mitigate the noise from the horns of passing freight trains.  They're looking to create so-called "quiet zones" at five rail crossings which run next to Highway 377 in the Denton County town. 

    For Pauline Lee, the trains come and go often.

    "Sometimes it can be almost every twenty minutes," said Lee, whose house sits less than 150 feet away from a busy rail line. 

    Lee has lived here for 17 years -- the same amount of time she's been asking if there's anything the town can do to quiet the freight train horns, which blare as they approach those crossings -- all hours of the day and night.  She says the trains themselves don't bother her, but he horns do.

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    "Unbearable," she said, describing the sound as "a shrill."

    "Very, very, very annoying," said Lee.  "You can't talk when one's outside.  You just have to shut up, that's all there is too it."

    Federal railroad law requires trains blow their horns several times at all railway crossings.  Argyle has five. The town's mayor says some residents enjoy the trains and the sometimes loud sounds which accompany them.  But many folks do not.

    "I hear from people every day," said Mayor Don Moser.

    The town is currently working with a consultant to convert its rail crossings to quiet zones.  In quiet zones trains don't blow their horns -- except for in emergency situations.  Converting them requires expensive safety changes to rail crossings -- including longer gates, and medians to prevent cars from trying to go around.  The move would cost about $2.5 million dollars, said Moser.  In May, Argyle voters will consider a measure to move a quarter-cent in sales tax from Argyle's economic development corporation to a fund for capital improvement -- which would help pay for the changes. 

    Moser, who lives about a half-mile from the tracks, says the train horns keep him up at night.

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    "Especially at three in the morning, it's pretty annoying," he said.  "And it is truly a quality of life issue."

    The town says any changes would be  afew years away, and would coincide with the widening of Highway 377. 

    "Do I want  a no blow section?" asks Lee.  "Yes sir, I certainly do."

    Lee has waited this long.  She cannot wait -- until noise is no longer an issue.

    "It just makes everything miserable," she said.  "And it is miserable."    


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