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Amended Notice of Establishment of West Two Quiet Zone

I have some bad news for long suffering Point Richmond residents who were counting on the West 2 Quiet Zone kicking in at midnight tonight.

 

Because of a glitch in the Federal Railroad Administration Quiet Zone calculation software, the California Public Utility Commission discovered a discrepancy in the West 2 (Point Richmond) Notice of Establishment on December 6, 2006. Using some crafty digital dexterity, Point Richmond Quiet Zone amateur expert Fred Arm found a way around the glitch, but the establishment had to be re-noticed on December 7.

 

Therefore, the 20-day establishment time will not take effect until 12:01 AM, December 28, 2006.

 

Meanwhile, BNSF engineers appear to be making the most of their closing act, sounding horns almost incessantly all night long. One of the enduring mysteries of life in a railroad town is what drives these train jockeys to make life miserable for the rest of us. While there are, for eight more days, federal regulations requiring sounding of horns at grade crossings, those rules are both flexible and precise. The law requires two longs, a short and a long, but the duration is not specified. On a good night, I have heard some sensitive engineers use their horns sparingly but still legally. Most of the time, however, these guys seem to be saying, ďIím not sleeping, so Iíll be damned if anyone else will be able to, either.Ē

 

They are probably really nice people once they get out of the cabs of those engines, but when they are working, the power of the horn must be truly overwhelming. Neither can I say anything nice about BNSF, which at worst encourages this cacophony, and at best doesnít do anything to curtail it.

 

I often wonder how they (BNSF managers) can sleep at night.

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