Wayside horns a welcome improvement

The Northern Star applauds DeKalb’s government for its persistence in solving the problem of train whistle noise in downtown DeKalb and the surrounding area.

DeKalb is awaiting approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Department of Transportation before it can finalize installation and implementation of the long time coming wayside horns.

The wayside horns will warn vehicles and pedestrians of approaching trains at downtown DeKalb’s train intersections. From a noise standpoint, the wayside horns represent a 10 decibel improvement over the train whistles engineers are required to sound at every intersection.

The inescapable noise of train whistles, which can be heard up to a mile away, plagues businesses and homeowners up to 80 times a day.

The Star also implores the ICC and IDOT to approve DeKalb’s use of the horns.

Substituting the use of wayside horns for the noisier horns mounted on individual trains has been a project not months, but years in the making.

DeKalb’s government took the

time to research and eliminate alternatives such as full gate closures, which would have cost $300,000 to $400,000 a piece, compared to the total cost of $600,000 for wayside horns at three or four intersections.

The last hoop to jump through is ICC and IDOT approval of the devices. It cannot come soon enough.

DeKalb’s business owners and residents have waited too long for relief.