ConnDOT: CTDOT Initiates Rail Noise Mitigation Efforts
2016

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
NEWS RELEASE
 
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
 
FOR RELEASE: October 24, 2016
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot 

CTDOT Initiates Rail Noise Mitigation Efforts

Becomes New England’s First State to Install Wayside Horn Systems

                                                                          

      The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today announced that Connecticut would become the first state in New England to install automated horn systems, commonly known as wayside horns, at various rail at-grade crossings. Installed as part of CTDOT’s noise mitigation efforts along the CTrail Hartford Line, the first horn became operational today (October 24, 2016) at the Cooper Street crossing in Meriden. 

      CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker states, “As we gear up for service launch on the Hartford Line, we are eager to be at the forefront of wayside horn system installation in Connecticut and recognize the benefits it brings to communities along the line.”

      A wayside horn system consists of stationary horns mounted on poles at active rail at-grade crossing.  The system is designed to provide a consistent audible warning to motorists and pedestrians upon the approach of a train to the at-grade crossing. Wayside horns take the place of train-mounted horns, which typically are activated up to ½ mile in advance of the crossing.  By focusing audible warnings toward the roadways approaching at-grade crossings, wayside horns reduce noise associated with railroad at-grade crossings.

      The installation of wayside horns helps CTDOT satisfy one of the conditions of the 2012 Environmental Assessment prepared for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Program, which requires noise associated with the enhanced rail service to be mitigated near sensitive noise receptors, such as residential neighborhoods, educational institutions and recreational areas.

      “The installation of wayside horns is consistent with CTDOT’s commitment to safety at grade crossings and fulfills our obligation to reduce noise associated with the Program, thereby improving quality of life for our neighbors along the corridor,” said John Bernick, CTDOT Assistant Rail Administrator. “We will look to install additional systems along the Hartford Line in specific areas to reduce train horn noise as we approach service launch.”

      The CTrail Hartford Line will provide more frequent, convenient and faster passenger rail service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield by increasing the number of round trip trains from six daily Amtrak intercity and regional trains to a total of 17 round trip trains a day to Hartford, and 12 trains per day to Springfield.  The majority of the existing rail stations will be replaced and several new stations will be built.  The expanded service and new stations are expected to increase ridership, improve the high speed and passenger rail system serving the northeast, expand intermodal transportation options, encourage economic development and create more livable and sustainable communities.