Northeast Tarrant

Relief is coming soon from those blaring train horns along TexRail’s new route

Blaring train horns are keeping some up at night along the new 27-mile TexRail route, but in January, things will get quieter.

TexRail is scheduled to have “quiet zones” in place on Jan. 5 when the trains start running on the new route from downtown Fort Worth to Terminal B at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

Trinity Metro is testing the TexRail trains now, and the Federal Railroad Administration requires the train horns to sound at every crossing, and in construction zones.

But the horn-blowing will soon be limited.

Laura Hanna, a spokeswoman for Trinity Metro, said in an email to the Star-Telegram that there are 37 crossings, and 34 will have quiet zone designations, meaning train horns won’t sound unless the conductor sees a person or vehicle on or near the tracks.

The crossing at 23rd and Decatur and two at DFW Airport won’t be quiet zones.

“Although the horns are a temporary inconvenience, the sound serves as an important safety reminder that service will soon begin,” Hanna said. “In operation, the trains will run quietly and will provide trips for nearly 22 hours a day at a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour.”

North Richland Hills has 10 crossings, and the quiet zones will be a welcome relief for residents living near them, said Mary Peters, a spokeswoman for the city.

“The increase in activity on the rail line has been challenging for residents in close proximity to the crossings,” Peters said. “We understand their frustration, and we have worked to expedite the Quiet Zone process.”

Several commented on the city’s Facebook page about how the horns are keeping their babies awake at night. Others wrote that they are using white noise apps on their phones to drown out the horns.

Most of the testing is done between 6 am. And 10 p.m., but a few trains run later.

With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.