Thursday, July 31, 2014

Can Dorchester Silence The Train Horns After 10 P.M.?

It seems the trains running through Dorchester are starting to test the patience and nerves of some town residents.

Earlier this month, we reported on citizen complaints about the lengthy blockades occurring regularly at the town's railroad crossings due to stopped train cars.

Now, one resident is tell us he thinks it's time for Dorchester to consider imposing a quiet zone after 10 p.m. for both crossings entering town.  He says it "makes little sense for trains moving 5 to 10 m.p.h. to blow their horns up to a dozen times long after most residents have gone to bed."

The resident who e-mailed informs us that south Lincoln (14th Street) is a "no horn" zone during the evening hours.  He said local residents in that part of the Capital City requested the designation be made by the Lincoln City Council, which then had to work with Burlington Northern Santa Fe on the details.

According to a City of Lincoln website, a quiet zone is a minimum one-half mile long railroad corridor containing one or more public roadway crossings where train horns are not routinely sounded. All crossings must have flashing lights, gates, and constant warning before a quiet zone can be established. Train horns may still be sounded in the case of an equipment malfunction or if a person or vehicle is near the tracks.

Lincoln has four designated Quiet Zones, which include twelve crossings along the BNSF railroad.

We at the Times like the idea and think it would improve Dorchester's quality of life. And we thank the resident for e-mailing us this idea to share with readers.


  1. Trains run at all hours of the day and night, they are a very necessary part of our economy, especially our local ag economy They don't slow down much as they approach town, so the horn is necessary to warn of their approach. Even with the cross bars and lights, I have seen folks try to slip past, foolishly trying to save a few seconds of their precious time. That loud horn is just one more, often necessary warning that trains CANNOT STOP on a dime. I can imagine the uproar if someone got hit by a passing train, who was trying to be quiet late at night. Very often folks traveling at night need that extra warning; they are tired, in a hurry to get home from a late shift or social event, or maybe even just a bit "impaired". Blow that horn, Mr. Engineer, I for one will sleep just as well.

  2. I would LOVE it if they didn't blow their horn after 10:00 p.m. Numerous times I have been woke up by the train horns. Both crossings have the lights and arms, if someone tries to drive through and gets hit, it would not be because they did not blow their horn. Often we have one train waiting while one goes through, then the one waiting goes and you have several horns one right after the other. For those living close to the tracks, it is loud!

    1. Blow that horn anytime so we know it's not a tornado rublinging down on us. some people in this town never heard a tornado at nite. LET HER BLOW


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