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Feds make change in Del Mar train horns

DEL MAR — The Federal Railroad Administration, which regulates the wayside horn system, recently issued a modification to the Del Mar Coast Boulevard railroad crossing.

In order to comply with this new FRA regulation, the Del Mar wayside horn will be adjusted to blow an estimated five seconds longer than it is currently sounding. NCTD rail operations officials estimate the change will be implemented by mid-March.

A Wayside horn was installed there courtesy of the North County Transit District and the city of Del Mar in September 2012. Currently, the FRA requires the horn sound a minimum of 15 seconds before a train’s arrival at a crossing and while the lead locomotive travels through a crossing.

A Wayside Horn is a stationary horn mounted at a railroad crossing that eliminates the need for the conductors on passing trains to use their horns. The digitized sound is concentrated in a narrower area at the crossing, thereby reducing the horn noise by upwards of 70 percent. The directionally-angled speakers are fixed at the crossing,

greatly reducing the noise level in the area.