Train horns to be silenced: Those long-promised quiet zones have a start date

Train horns in South Florida will fall silent effective midnight May 18 when the long-promised and often-delayed quiet zones are scheduled to take effect, officials said.

“We’re ecstatic about the news,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, in a statement. “We have waited a long time for the quiet zones.”

Work began in late 2016 to increase safety measures at railroad crossings so engineers would no longer be required to blast their horns as a warning at every crossing between Miami and West Palm Beach.

The launch of Brightline higher-speed express passenger service in January 2018 — since re-branded as Virgin Trains USA — added more than 30 trains to the 30-plus Tri-Rail commuter trains and over 16 freight trains that roll along two sets of tracks every day and night.

“I’ve had to purchase a white-noise machine to be able to sleep even with my windows closed,” said Robert Figueroa, an Oakland Park homeowner. “The trains blasting in the middle of the night have definitely impacted my sleep.”

“I share the frustrations of countless residents that can’t enjoy sleeping with their windows open due to the intolerable train noise,” echoed Graeme Lord, of Fort Lauderdale.

“[It] is more than anyone should have to bear,” said Steve Coleman, of Fort Lauderdale.

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