Noisy railroad crossing set to be silenced in Arlington




Posted on October 22, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 23 at 2:04 PM

Noisy crossing

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ARLINGTON — Sometimes, noise gets in the way of commerce near the railroad crossing on Collins Street near Abram Street in Arlington.

"It's so loud for the customers," said business owner Richard Ohaike. "Too loud."

For eight years, Richard Ohaike of Interfinish Quality Motoring Services has been trying to tune out the blaring horns from the trains rolling by on the Union Pacific line.  His business sits next to the tracks; so does his office.

"Sometimes, every five minutes, every 20 minutes," he said. "It depends on the time of day."

During our visit, three trains passed by in one hour.  Ohaike told us the noise is so loud that he runs into his store — along with his customers —  when a train passes by.

A few blocks away in a neighborhood, the sounds of railroading also roar, but the horns will soon be silenced. 

The city plans to renovate the crossing. The $375,000 investment  will bring safety improvements including a median to keep drivers from going around the gate arms.  New flashing lights will also be installed.  The area will also be turned into a "quiet zone".

When there's danger on the tracks — a driver or a pedestrian —  engineers can hit their horns.  Arlington has made similar changes at other crossings throughout the city.

"I didn't care either way, but if it's quieter, if it makes everybody happy, that's good," said homeowner  Kirstin Bradfield, who lives nearby.

For Ohaike, the promise of relief sounds good, too.

"Quiet... that would be great," he said.  "But, we might miss it, too, at the end of the day."