Sun Sentinel: Brightline trains will be blowing their horns for a few more months

Posted on August 2, 2018

By: Wayne Roustan, Sun Sentinel

Broward County residents and businesses along the Florida East Coast railroad tracks will probably be hearing Brightline and freight train horns through the end of the year now that the implementation of Quiet Zones has been delayed.

Safety improvements at railroad crossings were promised by the summer so that train engineers would no longer have to sound their horns at least four times at every crossing.

Now, Adrian Share, the executive vice president for Rail Infrastructure, has told the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization that due to “unforeseen engineering circumstances” larger gate houses need to be custom built, delivered, and installed at crossings with four-quadrant crossing gates and that is scheduled to be completed by November.

Gate houses are the large silver-gray metal boxes housing the necessary electronics to operate the gates at railroad crossings.

Crossings that have gates on both sides of the tracks in both directions of the intersecting roadways are called four-quadrant gates and they require larger gate houses for the proper operation of the gates, officials said.

Residents who live near the tracks have long complained about the noise from frequent train horns.

“I’m being woken up by the train 8 to 10 times per night now,” said Lars Heldre, who lives near the tracks in Delray Beach.

Brightline is increasing its weekday schedule on Monday from 11 to 16 round trips. That means any one railroad crossing will have 32 Brightline trains passing through it Monday through Friday between 5:30 a.m. and 11:10 p.m. Add to that about a dozen freight trains that travel those same tracks mostly overnight…

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