Train horns still keep us awake

March 21, 2013 

DN Train horns

(Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com) The M & E T (Modesto and Empire Traction Company) train crosses at El Vista Ave., on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Locals in Modesto have recently complained about the noise from train alerts.

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee

The Modesto and Empire Traction Co. train moves at about 10 mph along three miles of Yosemite Boulevard, with more than a dozen railroad crossings. The M&ET train horn is extremely loud and blasts all along Yosemite to and from the Gallo Winery at night, waking many nearby. Do circumstances really require the train horns be heard for miles?

Councilman Joe Muratore met with the community about this public nuisance issue in March 2012 and discussed creating quiet zones or other solutions. Councilman Muratore, can you give us an update?

Back in 2010 when M&ET decided to obtain these new, louder trains, you used taxpayers' money to pay for them at $1.5 million each. And, because of a special exemption from annexation, the public service utility taxes for the 2,000-acre Beard Industrial District are paid by the citizens of Modesto. You are smart enough to get the trains for nothing and have figured out how not to pay your utility taxes. Couldn't you use some of this money from free stuff and figure out how to fix this nuisance so that others can sleep? Where is your conscience?

RICHARD SETTLE

Modesto

Editor's note: According to our April 2010 news report, M&ET received $6.7 million in state money to purchase locomotives that are energy efficient and cause less pollution. The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program paid $1.35 million each for five locomotives, which cost $1.5 million. M&ET picked up the rest of the cost.

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