HolyCoast: It'll Be a Little Quieter in San Clemente

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It'll Be a Little Quieter in San Clemente

Having walked the beach trail in San Clemente many times I know how noisy it can get down there when the frequent Amtrak, Metrolink, and BNSF freight trains pass through town.  The authorities are trying to make things a little less noisy for the neighbors in the very expensive ocean-side homes:
San Clemente and the Orange County Transportation Authority have scheduled a ceremony for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 21 to herald the launch of a railroad Quiet Zone at two train crossings in North Beach.

The public is invited.

Safety improvements installed by OCTA and the city led to the designation of a Quiet Zone, meaning trains no longer will be required to blast their horns four times when approaching each crossing. The driver of the train still will sound the horn upon seeing danger ahead.

At the Dec. 21 ceremony, announced by the city Tuesday, dignitaries will unveil signs designating the Quiet Zone at the entrance to Capistrano Shores Mobile Home Park and at the pedestrian entrance to North Beach.

Both railroad crossings have been upgraded with more-effective gates and an escape door for pedestrians who find themselves caught between the gates and the tracks after the gates come down. Fencing has been added along the tracks to prevent pedestrians from using them as a shortcut to the beach.
This will work until some surfer climbs the fence and gets wiped out by an approaching train. Trains are surprisingly quiet until they get right to you. I've been walking that trail and had a train suddenly appear right next to me that I didn't hear until the last moment.

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