Mayor Pro Tem Tom King recalled at recent Walnut City Council meeting just how loud the train horns that sound across the city can get.
King said he was once in the community talking to residents complaining about the noise when he experienced what they meant right on the spot.
"The horn blew and it was so loud, it scared me," he said. "I almost fell off the porch."
Walnut residents long bothered by the blaring of train horns, especially in the wee hours of the morning, will soon get some relief.
The long-awaited $2 million quiet zone project, designed to prevent conductors from sounding their horns at railroad crossings where there are cross streets level with the tracks, goes into effect April 22.
Walnut Councilman Antonio "Tony" Cartagena, along with other council members and city staff, have been lobbying their neighbors in Industry for the quiet zone near Valley Boulevard for several years. The Union Pacific Railroad tracks run on the City of Industry side of Valley but affects bordering Walnut.
"It's been a long process," Cartagena said. "This will definitely improve the quality of life for residents."
Cartagena said the project took a long time to complete due to safety and liability issues.
The quiet zone green light also involved the City of Industry applying to the Federal Railroad Administration to designate the crossings at Brea Canyon Road and Valley, Old Benton Way, and Lemon and Fairway as quiet zones.
Industry started construction on the quiet zone in 2011.
Projects to ready the area slated for the designation included the addition of gates to the crossing at Fairway Drive and Lemon Avenue and the installation of raised medians at the Brea Canyon Road crossing.
Industry City Engineer John Ballas said last year that as it stands now, the first place along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Walnut where conductors can sound their horns is at Fullerton Road. They don’t sound the horn at Nogales because of a grade separation, he said.
The project also included installing raised medians, specifically at the Brea Canyon Road crossing.
“Raised medians prevent people from driving around the gates,” he said. “You want to make physical barriers so they can’t get around.”
What do you think about the quiet zone coming to Walnut this month? Tell us in comments.