Denver Airport Train Will Get Less Horn-y

A passenger prepares to board an RTD A-Line train at Union Station on January 30. Streetsblog file photo by Andy Bosselman.
A passenger prepares to board an RTD A-Line train at Union Station on January 30. Streetsblog file photo by Andy Bosselman.
Mayor Michael Hancock at the announcement of new quiet-zones along RTD's A-Line train.
Mayor Michael Hancock praised the arrival of new quiet-zones along RTD’s A-Line train.

Quiet will finally come to people who live and work along the A-Line train to the airport. Commuter and freight trains will stop routinely blowing their horns at the line’s nine road crossings within Denver starting March 1.

Mayor Michael Hancock and officials from the Regional Transportation District announced the change today at Union Station. The Federal Railroad Administration has required the noisy warning sounds since the line opened on April 22, 2016 because RTD and the Denver Transit Partners have failed to get crossing arms to run properly.

Mayor Hancock experienced the horns first-hand.

“I have sat on the back patios of residents,” he said. “I have stood in hotels along Quebec on the airport corridor. And I have listened as the horns have blared all hours of the day and night.”

RTD General Manager and CEO David Genova.
RTD General Manager and CEO David Genova.

The FRA just approved the new quiet zones after threatening to shut down the line completely in November. In December, RTD rushed to come up with a one-year plan to fix problems with the positive train control system that causes crossing gates to come down too early and stay down for a few seconds too long.

“So much effort has gone into getting to this point,” said David Genova, RTD General Manager and CEO. “It’s good news that people … will no longer hear a train horn every few minutes of the day and evening,”

RTD expects the FRA to approve A-Line quiet zones at two others crossings in Aurora in the coming weeks.

Trains will continue to use horns in situations that need extra safety precautions, RTD said in a statement. Crossing gates, lights and bells will also operate at road intersections.

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