Thursday, May 03, 2007

Most. Annoying. Train. Ever.

Okay, so this morning at 4:45 a.m. I started hearing a train whistle. I heard it EVERY THIRTY SECONDS, quite regularly, from 4:45 until 4:56. (Damn thing woke me up and I was staring at my clock.) Getting louder. At 4:56 the whistle intervals got more sporadic, between 45 seconds and 3 minutes, and that lasted until 5:07, which is about when the whistle started getting quieter. Then a whistle at 5:10, 5:23, and 5:31 (which is now).

And now 5:33.
And now 5:42.
And now 5:53.
5:56 and getting louder again.
5:57 a second time.
6:00 a.m. on the dot.
6:02 again.
6:05 again.
6:05 ... random spare whistle. (Not in normal group of 3.)
6:05 AGAIN!
6:07. The sun is pretty well up now. Thanks train! I was just dying to see a sunrise! /sarcasm.
6:08. Quieter.
6:12. I'm going to have train-whistle nightmares now. I can tell.

First of all, I can't live that close to train tracks or I'd be able to hear the train, not just the whistle.

But WHAT. THE. HELL???? I grew up about 1/3 of a mile from the Chicago and North Western line and it was NEVER this friggin' noisy, certainly not AT NIGHT. I've never heard a train blow its whistle so many times in such a short period. Sirens going by four blocks away aren't as loud as this was.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there not a state or federal law prohibiting train whistles within municipal limits overnight? Or giving the power to municipalities to enact such limits?

And does anyone know what line or train this was so I can write a strongly-worded letter complaining? Nearly two dozen whistles in 10 minutes is RIDICULOUS by any standard.

I don't mind a train whistle or two, even at night (trains are sort-of a cozy nighttime sound, I think), but to keep blowing like that so I couldn't get back to sleep ... ugh. And that thing must have woken up half the city if it was loud enough to wake me up this far away from whatever tracks it was on. If I had a baby or a toddler, I'd be pissed. (Well, I'm pissed now. But I'd be way more pissed then.)


Vonster said...

I suspect you were hearing Rail America switching cars and such downtown. The wind must have been just right. I hear it at my house further east too though not so much at night as in the evening.

LyricFox said...

Ahem. Well, first thing to look at is whether the conductor got moved to the night shift. I had that happen in Garland, and that's eventually what I found to be the cause.

Dude went whistle happy every time the tracks crossed a street. And we're talking WAAAAYYY beyond the whistle you'd normally hear.

C. J. Summers said...

Actually, they're required to blow their whistles at grade crossings regardless of the time of day for safety. Especially downtown, a lot of grade crossings don't have crossing gates.

What happens downtown is the train will come in going north, blowing its whistle as it crosses streets, then stops, they switch the track, and the train backs up onto the spur to drop off cars. Then, when the engine leaves, it has to cross all those grade crossings again, necessitating the whistle.

The train has never woken me up, but the birds chirping at 4:30 a.m. sure have.

Chef Kevin said...

I'll raise your train whistle and bird with several barking dogs. However, I think I-brows and I heard the same train this morning.

Anonymous said...

That train is the one that passes through that little village of Pottstown I'd bet.

Emtronics said...

No CJ is mostly correct and with the wind blowing out of the southwest you hear it all the way up by you as my mother lives very close to you. There is one other time they blow, that's when they stop to hook cars or disconnect cars, they blow the horn to back up to let the railmen know they are moving again.

But has a commenter on my blog said: "You whine too much, post a positive!"

Ryan Johnson said...

you must have grown up a sheltered city girl.

You complain about a lot of petty crap.

Vonster said...

Of course, for some of us, there's no such thing as an annoying train. ;-)

Laura McGowan said...

I grew up a about 100 yards from an Interurban line. Train whistles are music to my ears. I also love to hear the barge horns. The sound of cars on the Interstate, however, presses on my nerves.