Train whistle noise solutions explored
By MARK MARONEY
The blaring horn on a engine at the three primary crossings in Newberry has been a nightmarish sound for some.
Last year, residents complaining about the noise attended a public hearing put on by the city public works committee and later this month, those who presented ideas to the public at the meeting plan to visit a railyard in New Jersey that has found a solution for its horn noise level.
A delegation from the SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority and some city and county officials plan to visit the railyard on March 26, according to information presented Thursday to council.
Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith, who chairs the city public works committee, said the authority members described various methods to reduce train horn noise.
The New Jersey yard had a Wayside horn system installed at a rail crossing. The system reduces the blare in a directional manner as the train approaches the crossing.
Such a system, and its costs, are going to be reviewed and the information shared with the public, according to Jerry Walls, a volunteer with a group working with the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, who formerly served as the chief county planner.
Councilwoman Bonnie Katz, who attended the public hearing last year, said she and others on council continue to hear concerns aired by residents who live along and near the tracks entering the Newberry railyard.
She said she welcomed such a visit and that when the group returns it pay attention to their needs for reducing train horn noise.