Train horn noise

Anyone else noticed how the train horns seem louder & longer than before? I wrote to Abellio who deny that anything has changed, and said that their drivers had to sound their horns for 3 seconds approaching a crossing, such as Paget Road.  However, many drivers appear to be sounding their horns for longer (and it would appear louder) than this.  Anyone else agree?

If you feel that this might just be a strategy to drive those who live close to the line, to accept Paget Road's closure, please write to Abellio, Bernard Jenkin, and your local councillors, to ask for an investigation.

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Comments

  • puffin said:
    Anyone else noticed how the train horns seem louder & longer than before? I wrote to Abellio who deny that anything has changed, and said that their drivers had to sound their horns for 3 seconds approaching a crossing, such as Paget Road.  However, many drivers appear to be sounding their horns for longer (and it would appear louder) than this.  Anyone else agree?

    If you feel that this might just be a strategy to drive those who live close to the line, to accept Paget Road's closure, please write to Abellio, Bernard Jenkin, and your local councillors, to ask for an investigation.
    If Abellio said nothing had changed, then anyone living in lower Wivenhoe for more than a year (in my case 33 years) knows they are not being honest. When the German-built units arrived a few years back, their horns were noticeably louder than before, but nothing like this. It is unarguably part of the strategy you suggest.
  • Already raised by Puffin, and previously discussed,  on Paget Road Closure thread
  • I live 20ft away from the line, Over the last couple of months, the horns have gone from being two tone, for about 2 seconds to a long loud one tone horn, some sound it quite a distance from the crossing, some sound it much closer.  Some trains don't sound a horn at all. 
  • We live some distance from the line but there is absolutely no doubt that the horns are much louder. Abellio would be on safer, or more plausible, ground by claiming that it's a matter of enhanced safety procedures. Otherwise, it sounds like a plan. Even conspiracy theorists are sometimes right. 
  • edited September 2016
    Silent running trains passing over a public footpath crossing point definitely the way forward.
  • The volume and duration of the warning horns has been perfectly adequate for many years, but recently it's become ridiculously loud and drawn out, and is obviously being done for other reasons.
  • It can be heard up from Broadfields at times.
  • You may already have the response from Essex and Suffolk Community Rail Officer?

    'As there is a crossing located at Wivenhoe, there is 'whistle board' located on the approaches to this.
    A 'whistle board' is an indicator that drivers MUST sound their horn for 3 continuous seconds at this point as a warning that they are approaching the crossing. 
    If the driver feels there is a potential risk to persons or the train, ie. somebody on or near the crossing/running line on their approach they must sound both tones of the horn (this is likely the longer louder sounds that the residents will have heard).
    Between the hours of 2300 & 0700 the drivers do not sound their horn at the indicator unless they feel there is risk to persons or the train, as above.
    I know this may not help people living close to the railway who are disturbed by the noise, however these are safety regulations which cover all crossings such as this.'

    If you believe there is a noise nuisance you would have to make a diary of the times when this regulation is exceded
  • I am not arguing that these are not the facts, Rosalind, but simply that there has been a dramatic increase in the disturbance caused recently, and I feel that it is directly linked to their desire to close local crossing points.
    They may not have been following the guidelines to the letter for decades - so why are they suddenly doing it now?
  • Completely agree with pitfall on this; a few years back my better half used to live in a cottage backing onto the railway and horns blasting were not a big issue then, but now can hear them all over Wivenhoe. It's corporate bullyboy tactics and should be called out for what it is.

  • adrian said:
    Completely agree with pitfall on this; a few years back my better half used to live in a cottage backing onto the railway and horns blasting were not a big issue then, but now can hear them all over Wivenhoe. It's corporate bullyboy tactics and should be called out for what it is.


    Worse  still, it's two 'independent' corporate bullies  - Abellio and Network Rail - ganging up on the 'little people' ie those who pay fares and keep the whole system going...
  • Network Rail is Government owned.
  • Technically, yes - but of course these days things never quite that simple! It's a method of evasion called 'pass the parcel'. :p
  • All down to Network Rail I'm afraid. Abellio, as part of their Track Access agreement , have to comply with NR "commandments"  May get a little quieter when the snow socks go on the horns, but that's little comfort. Let's hope we win and keep our crossings although I appreciate that loud horns sounding at least 4 times an hour is annoying. Hope they have to put in a barrier or lights. 
  • I think, Rosalind, perhaps Colchester Council must have a 'noise nuisance' team who should come and monitor both the noise level & frequency of the current excessive levels.  As you can clearly see from this thread, and surely from your discussions with residents, the volume & length of horn noise has increased substantially over the last year.

    Anyone can see that the rail officer's reply fails to answer my points about noise volume or length.  It would be encouraging to see our representatives take a more active & less passive role on this, if they are serious on keeping this crossing open...?
  • As mentioned in the thread about Paget Crossing the requirements for 'train horns' changed earlier this year, see link to the new standard http://www.rssb.co.uk/rgs/standards/GMRT2131%20Iss%201.pdf one of the changes was the abolition of the lowest setting for movements at 20mph or lower, which seems to align with perception that the tones are louder or longer. It's a national group standard and is mandatory for all operations on the railway Im affraid, nothing to do with Wivenhoe or any crossing in particular. 
  • From Wiki:

    The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is an independent not-for-profit company ... owned by rail industry stakeholders, including Network Rail, infrastructure managers, train operating companies and rolling stock companies.





  • Agree with puffin. The Rail Officer's reply doesn't seem to deal with this issue adequately. The noise needs to be monitored. Our elected representatives need to be a little more proactive. 
    There is a move to close the crossings. The sounding of horns at crossings has, by common consent, exponentially increased. Coincidence? As Freud pointed out, there is no such thing as coincidence. 
  • They are definitely louder and longer. I appreciate it's a safety thing, but 3 seconds is a long time at that volume! It never used to be like this!! 
  • Do cars have to honk their horns when driving round every bend? Closing the crossing and blasting horns is a bloody disgrace. Let people sleep and go about their business in peace. If anyone is stupid enough to walk in front of a massive great lump of train that's their fault (choice) but the rest of us should not have to put up with lousy interfering busy body corporate/government bodies saying it's dangerous :-o
  • Noise nuisance - from CBC

    'Noise is a category of statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which we can investigate.

    We will always try and resolve the problem informally at first, but if this approach fails we can serve an abatement notice on the person/s responsible. Breach of an abatement notice is a criminal offence carrying fines of up to £20,000 for commercial premises and up to £5,000 for residential premises.

    Many factors are considered when determining whether a statutory nuisance exists, including time of day, frequency of events and their duration. We will normally require evidence in the form of diary sheets when considering formal action.'

    I have asked officers to consider monitoring equipment to look into this.  But if the safety regulations are adhered to, I see no realistic way this will be overridden.

  • Perhaps the revised safety regulations can be challenged...
    Why was the lowest horn setting abolished?

  • kstkst
    edited September 2016
    I would worry about keeping the crossings first. You don't want to give NR another excuse to close them.
  • Railways are a dangerous environment and trains (even those slowing down coming in to a station) are huge pieces of rolling plant. The fact that there's a crossing at Paget Road is a facility that Wivenhoe should fight to keep. However, the safety of people is a priority and must be paramount regardless of how it may inconvenience people. I too live near the track and I hear the hooter. Although I rarely use the Paget Road crossing, I am very thankful that when I do, I should hear when there's a train approaching due to the hooter. The fact that it's loud will also help people who may be hard of hearing or elderly people or people who may have mobility problems to know that there is a train approaching. 3 seconds is not excessive, as long as it doesn't exceed that duration.

    I would like to think that the person who made the statement that "If anyone is stupid enough to walk in front of a massive great lump of train that's their fault (choice)" made it with their tongue stuck firmly in their cheek. As someone who has worked in a railway environment in the past and seen people killed while working  on the track, I hope you never have to experience that. Even slow trains, can creep up on you deceptively quickly.

    There will be a railway industry standard detailing how loud the horns on trains should be at whatever distance/time a train is from a crossing. It may be worth checking that and getting some noise monitoring done to confirm the horn does not exceed the set parameters.

    With regard to CBC involvement, you will probably find that Railway Safety Procedures will trump Local Authority requirements in almost every case.



  • Without further comment......


  • love the sound of the train, boats and planes, motorcycles and birds
  • I'm not convinced that the train horns have been adapted, they sound as they always have. What has changed is that Network Rail are cutting back a lot of trees and shrubs along the line, which means less of the sound is absorbed into foliage. 

    Worth mentioning that all of the trains used on our line will be replaced. It's likely that the horns on the new stock will be of the louder variety. On the plus side, they're lighter so less rumble and noise from the wheels.

    Ultimately, it's a railway line. It will produce noise pollution and it was there when you moved in. 
  • edited September 2016
    Funny, I've lived in Paget Road 26 years and the only time I really notice the trains is when they are not running! It's only when I sit and listen for a train with my grandson do I notice them!

    Edit: hit the enter key too quick  :(
  • Went up to London today, and on the way up in the daylight, the horn was blown loud and long at every conceivable chance.  On the way back tonight in the dark--nothing, not once.  ?? 
  • Id rather hear a train horn than hear a tragic story of someone being killed by a train because there was no warning prior to a crossing. I also find it comforting in a sentimental way, a small town and its quaintness, different from the hustle and bustle of London. The station has been there a long time, before a lot of the surrounding houses I expect so the noise of horns going off goes with territory.
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