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Arvada residents say they can't sleep from blasting horns during 24-hour G Line testing

Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 00:26:54-04

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ARVADA, Colo. -- We have heard from many viewers about RTD running their trains and horns 24 hours a day, and many wonder why it's being done and when it will stop.

It's all part of the testing for the new G Line, RTD’s newest commuter rail line, before it officially opens to the public in the near future.

Denver7 spoke to residents living near the tracks in Arvada who say it’s unbearable and they want to know when it will end.

The Scott family said the horns from the passing trains wake them up at all hours of the night, affecting their day-to-day quality of life.

“You know the horn. Then beep beep…and beep. It’s more like every 10 minutes,” said Lee Scott.

RTD confirms that the trains are running up to 24 hours a day, now that it’s increased testing to six trains on the roughly 11 miles from downtown Denver’s Union Station through Northwest Denver, Adams County, Arvada and ending in Wheat Ridge.

The Scotts want RTD to do something about the effects it’s having on the nearby communities.

“Find a way to figure it out so that we’re not waking people up. And I don’t know what that answer is going to be,” said Scott.

He’s not the only one that feels that way. Gloria Rivera, 72, lives close by the tracks as well and said she can't get answers about how long her sleepless nights will last.

“You don’t know what it’s like to have a train hub in your living room in the middle of your night,” said Rivera. “My quiet life, my beautiful retirement is challenged and it’s so severe. I’m gonna move.”

Per regulation, the horn is not supposed to be louder than 110 decibels.

RTD spokesperson Laurie Huff confirmed an opening date for passenger service has not yet been determined, but said it’s on track and at an appropriate pace. The purpose of the testing, she said, is to examine the communication signaling along the G Line, as well as the effectiveness of the communication technology in place at each of the 16 railroad crossings.

According to it’s website, RTD is the first commuter rail system in the United States trying new at-grade crossings to positive train control (PTC), a complex signaling and communications technology that is required by the Federal Railroad Adminstration (FRA) to be implemented on all railroads by 2020.

RTD will complete the testing once they feel like they’ve isolated any flaws in the communication signaling, according to Huff, but are unsure when that will be. Part of the testing frequency is to simulate the G Line trains’ future schedule running from 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next day. Also, trains will run every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours. Until then, federal law mandates that horns  be used to warn of an incoming train.

And that’s definitely hard on the ears in Arvada.

“I would love for RTD to know this sucks. And I don’t know what they’re going to do for people, but somebody needs to do something. And I don’t know the answer to that question,” said Scott.