Railroad repairs spur noisier trains

<p>A Union Pacific locomotive passes construction equipment along side of the tracks off of Frazer Avenue on Tuesday in Pendleton. Train crews have been blowing their horns as a warning before entering a construction zone on the Union Pacific line in Pendleton.</p>

While freight trains are a common sight in Pendleton, Union Pacific locomotives have had a decidedly noisier presence recently.

Pendleton mayor and Union Pacific risk management manager Phillip Houk said the increase in blaring horns from trains is due to railroad repairs near Southwest Frazier Avenue.

As construction crews work on replacing panels and smoothing out rails, incoming train conductors use their horn multiple times to warn crews of their pending arrivals.

Houk said Pendleton is one of a few cities that is a designated railroad quiet zone. This means that conductors don’t normally use their horn at every crossing.

While most conductors are following procedure when using their horn to warn construction workers, Houk said one particular crew has been using their horn at every crossing, even those outside the construction area.

Houk spoke with the train’s supervisor and resolved the issue, he said.

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