A grassroots movement to silence train horns in the city of Orange has now grown to become the new standard. Trains will no longer need to use their horns at road-crossings because of $85 million upgrades to the railroad system.
Since 2009, 52 railroad crossings have been upgraded.
According to OCTA officials, this program has made Orange County one of the quietest areas in the United States. Trains do not have to sound their horns now, unless it is an absolute emergency.
One of the 77-year-old residents of Old Towne Orange near the Almond Street rail crossing feels that this project makes his community a better place to live.
“It improves your quality of life and over time your property values will be enhanced,” said the man, “When you get woken up at one, two, tree … in the morning, it’s disruptive. It disrupts thousands of people.”
OCTA spokespeople said that Orange was the first city to have all of its crossings upgraded and Placentia was the first Orange County city to become a quiet zone.
A quiet zone is applied when the city meets all of the requirements. They must have appropriate signage, striping, raised pavement markers, automatic pedestrian and vehicular gates, modified roadway medians, installment of signals, concrete crossing panels, hand railings and fencing gates.
Metrolink and the OCTA partnered with eight cities to implement the program which is funded mostly by Renewed Measure M and partly by the cities.
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