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Why are Trains Blaring Their Horns at Night?

Dozens of people in Alexandria, Huntington, Kingstowne and elsewhere have complained about noise.

Residents in Alexandria and surrounding areas may want to buy earplugs. The sound of train horns blaring at night will continue for a few more weeks.

CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan told Patch Thursday the horns are related to track work that CSX began earlier this week. The horns are part of a safety precaution taken to protect workers who are on or near the tracks.

“It’s part of our routine maintenance of our 21,000 miles of railroad in the eastern United States, and they are replacing cross ties and doing some other work,” Sullivan said.

Dozens of residents have complained on various online forums about hearing trains blow their hornes with unusual frequency late at night. Some residents told Patch the noise is preventing them from sleeping well.

"It's frustrating when my 5 year old (who has to get up at 7 and go to school) can't sleep, and my 1 year old keeps waking because of it," said resident Melissa Martinez in an email to Patch.

A post on the Kingstowne Patch Facebook page got almost three dozen comments from residents who are disturbed by the horns. Discussions also have popped up on the Old Town Moms Yahoo group and the Huntington Community Group page on Facebook this week.

The rail work will continue through November along the CSX tracks down to Woodbridge. 

West End Alexandria Patch Editor Rachel Leonard contributed to this report.

SO October 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Some people had made such rude comments toward the community!, like "get better earplugs, change the acoustic of your house, go and see a doctor...." They had solutions for every one!. Nobody is complaining of regular sounds of the train.. we were used to that. We are talking about NOW not from a century ago.
Kristy October 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Since I won't be one to protest the sounds, I thought I'd offer a well intended solution that has been working for me. I am using a fan (pointed away from me since its cooler now) to block the noise and some inexpensive ear plugs that work really well. They are blocking all of the other sounds in the neighborhood too - barking dogs, late night neighbors, emergency vehicles. I too have trouble sleeping in general. I definitely need more vacations! HA HA! Here is a link to some great ear plugs that are also comfortable. Maybe they will work for others too. http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-MAX-1-plugs-Uncorded/dp/B0033YLEGO/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1 I've also used a sound machine too in the past with good results. Here is a link to the one I've used. http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-MAX-1-plugs-Uncorded/dp/B0033YLEGO/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1 These recommendations are well intended for those folks who may need a quick fix. I've tried many things over the years to drown out noises that keep me awake. (And everything keeps me awake!) It might be worth a try for a quick fix. If you try it, I hope they work for you.
Kristy October 23, 2012 at 12:15 AM
The copy and paste for the sound machine didn't work as intended the first time and ended up a duplicate of the ear plugs. Here it is... http://www.amazon.com/Conditioner-Marpac-formerly-Sleepmate-980A/dp/B000KUHFGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350950382&sr=8-1&keywords=noise+mach
Lynn Trundle October 24, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Uh, no, the fault is not necessarily ours, JJ, because in my area (Franconia Rd. near Fleet Drive), no train horns blew EVER until Dec. 2006. I did check out this area, since it's fairly near the train tracks, before I bought my townhouse. I parked outside and waited until a train went by. Although it was pretty loud, I realized I was outside, and also I figured it would be much like an airplane going overhead. Some temporary noise, but acceptable. After I moved in (July 2004), I really didn't notice the trains going by much. It was only when they started blowing their horns every time they went through this area that it became a problem. Also, there seem to be more trains going through here than there used to be. I have complained several times to CSX over the years and to the fed. gov., to no avail. I have gotten a different explanation each time of why CSX is blowing these horns, after the first one (being near an at-grade crossing, which is not true here) didn't hold up. When that wasn't the answer, they came up with something else. Believe me, if I could afford to move, I would. The basic issue here--aside from the temporary track work which means even worse horn-blowing than normal--is that CSX can do what it wants because no one controls them. So, they will do what they want.
Only November 12, 2012 at 06:34 AM
I live right next door to the PG plaza metro station and this is getting to be really bad. Every single night midnigth I mean they start with their so annoying horn! Is there something that can be done to stop this! They shoul put it on question 7 for next presidential elections! Ban those F. Horns!

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