Tooting MTA’s Horn

On March 1, Westporters living near the railroad tracks — and even not so near — started hearing train horns. Loud horns. And lots of them.

Several readers did the natural thing: They asked “06880” what’s up. I contacted my go-to-guy — MTA spokesman and 1994 Staples graduate Aaron Donovan — who reported that it’s part of a Connecticut Department of Transportation project to replace all New Haven Line overhead wires, first installed in 1907.

For the safety of personnel who are on or near the tracks, trains must sound their horns when approaching work zones. Work will continue through September 2017.

Well, at least we knew…

The other day though, an alert — and very frustrated — “06880” reader emailed me. Though no work was being done near Hillspoint Road, equipment had been left near the tracks. For quite a while, engineers had been honking for no reason.

Engineers were honking at this -- with no workers in sight.

Engineers were honking at this — with no workers in sight.

The reader had called the police, fire department and Metro-North. But the horns kept blaring.

I told her to contact Aaron.

He gave her a number to call — with step-by-step instructions for navigating the dreaded phone tree. Aaron assured her she’d wind up in the right hands.

She did. The Hillspoint resident reports today that the weekend was quiet.

And though work resumed today, things are much better than they were. And she says, “for the first time, they were very helpful.”

Count your blessings. And count the days — just 810! — until September 2017.

4 responses to “Tooting MTA’s Horn

  1. I live by the train station and the blaring horns can be heard at all hours of the day and night. Yes, even after midnight. I’m not convinced it’s only because of work being done. Sometimes they are short quieter blasts. More often they are long very loud blasts. I often wonder if the loud ones are because of complaints…

  2. They blow the horns coming into the stations. I think that is now mandatory as well. The MN safety record is not good, they are trying hard to not have another accident of any type.

  3. Sara Colabella

    It’s not at the station. There is an ongoing construction project through 2017 along the corridor. There are machinery, supplies and equipment along the tracks and it is constant honking and blaring horns from 4 AM to midnight. This goes on even when they aren’t working on our section. Imagine this going on every day and night since March and knowing it will continue for another year. Also, only getting 4 hours of sleep a night. If they aren’t using the equipment why store it behind residential homes?

  4. Julie Fatherley

    I hear the horns as well but am grateful that they seem to be trying to
    inform others about their arrivals so as not to have anymore tragedies.
    Sorry it offends others…I appreciate the concern evident after the recent
    tragedies that have occurred in our town (a woman walking on the tracks) and in other areas. Life is a give and take. Rather be safe than sorry.