In response to the article about railroad noise complaints ("Racket over rails," Jan. 7).
The railroad has many rights, including the fact they were there first, long before any home within sight of the railroad tracks.
Railroads operate under different rules and they had no say in the city allowing and zoning properties, nor the developer’s creation of housing subdivisions abutting their rail line.
Railroads really cannot operate quietly and they must sound the train horns to warn anybody in the way of the danger of the approaching train. Trains cannot stop on a dime and, dependent upon the travel speed, grade of the line and weight/length of the train, it may take a half mile or more to stop a train.
Did any of you complaining about the noise check to see anything about the railroad operations?
Did you really make the most expensive investment of most people’s lifetimes and not look into any of this?
Does anybody realize that the rail operations can change and it is the road agency (city, county, township or state) that is responsible to know the speed of the trains to set the signal and cross-arm timings? Yes, a city and the state of Illinois found out the hard way some 20-plus years ago. It cost some lives when a train hit a vehicle crossing the tracks without the flashers and cross-arms activated, thus cost the city and state a large financial judgement.
The city of Chaska continues to zone and allow the developers in this city to continue building right up to the railroad property. Just follow the money as the land is very highly valued in terms of location, location, location and tax capacity as the developers make money and then the city, school district and county collect ever-increasing property tax revenue from the property owners.
In my opinion, complain all you want. You bought/built or possibly rented a home close to the railroad tracks and should have known or realized you will get disturbed or as I know a few comments found the noise/vibration relaxing.
It is not the railroad's responsibility to make it quiet or change their operations due to your complaint. You can always sell and move.
If by chance the railroad does make any change, be very thankful.