Caltrain: Train Noise
In the summer of 2009, Caltrain relocated train horns from underneath the train to the top to comply with federal safety regulations, which increased the volume and range of sound and generated complaints from residents along the train corridor.
In response, Caltrain restored the horns to underneath the trains in November 2009, which reduced the noise level while complying with federal regulations (these regulations allow the horn volumes to have a decibel range from 96 to 110).
However, noise complaints about train horns began again in April 2010 and have continued to date with most complaints attributed to Union Pacific (UP) freight trains, which run at night from as early as 7:30 p.m. to as late as 4:00 a.m.
Although the railroad operation is regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and California Public Utilities Commission, the City is committed to facilitating communication between residents and railroad operators.
San Mateo's Proactive Efforts
Analysis of Potential Options
Current Status and Next Steps