WPBF ABC 25 News: Feds looking into recent excessive freight train horns
Posted on February 2, 2015
From Indian River County to West Palm Beach, residents have been complaining about excessively loud freight train horns late at night and early in the morning over the past month.
“I never remember [horns] sounding this loud,” Stuart-resident Robert Brands said. “I live a mile away and they’re waking me up. It’s just excessive, about four in the morning, long horn blows, one after another.”
The trains belong to Florida East Coast Railway, which is owned by the same parent company developing All Aboard Florida, a controversial high-speed train proposed to run from Orlando to Miami.
“It’s very interesting because the complaints I have coming in are from the counties that have complained the most about All Aboard Florida,” Florida NOT All Aboard director K.C. Traylor said. “Indian River County, Saint Lucie County, North Palm Beach County, Martin County.”
One of the selling points of All Aboard Florida is establishing quiet zones, which would eliminate the requirement for freight trains to use their horns. Traylor said residents are starting to question if the train horns are intentionally louder.
“It’s people who have lived around these tracks for years and years and years, so what is the difference now?” Traylor said. “The train horns are excessive and they’re louder than people have ever remembered them especially during the night.”
Brands said in past years, he lived in a condominium called Harborage right along the train tracks in Stuart and never had any complaints about train horns.
In a written statement to WPBF 25 News, Florida East Coast Railway said they “generally get more complaints this time of year as the weather allows for windows to be open and there are less leaves on trees to mute the horn.”
The Federal Railroad Administration said they have received complaints against Florida East Coast Railway in the past two days from residents in Palm Beach County and Pompano Beach about excessively loud horns, and they’re “looking into it.”