San Diego Business Journal

Del Mar Installs New Horn System at Downtown Rail Crossing

By Lou Hirsh Monday, September 17, 2012

The city of Del Mar has launched a wayside horn system, aimed at reducing noise from trains crossing Coast Boulevard as they pass through the city’s downtown.

The system’s horns are directionally angled speakers fixed at crossings to focus sound toward approaching traffic when a train is passing through. It allows locomotive engineers to avoid sounding multidirectional blasts that can be heard several miles away.

Train engineers will now only sound horns in dangerous or emergency situations, according to a city statement.

The system was installed at a cost of approximately $378,000 and paid for by city residents and businesses, according to a city staff report. It is being operated by the North County Transit District, and officials said it could serve as a model for the larger North County region.

The project has been in discussion and development for the past two years, following concerns raised by local residents and businesses about excessive train noise in the downtown area.