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Arvada residents frustrated over Union Pacific train left idling

Union Pacific said they'll turn train off asap.
Arvada residents frustrated over Union Pacific train left idling
Posted at 9:20 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 01:20:23-04

ARVADA, Colo. — A constant noise and persistent stench has a become an around-the-clock reality for a group of Arvada residents.

"The problem is the sitting, the idling, the running for days on end when we're trying to sleep," Dana Smyly said. "It's in the middle of the night. It's during the day when we're trying to hang out."

Smyly said the Union Pacific, which has several tracks through the city, has a train idling a few hundred yards from her backyard. Neighbors said the train's noise is the worst for residents that live by the tracks near Braun Court in Arvada.

"What we don't have an issue with is the train sitting on the tracks, the issue is the idling for days. If they were idling for two hours and then took off, that doesn't seem like an awful thing for us," Smyly said. "But when it's days and days of idling and loud noise and fumes, it becomes a problem"

Smyly said she's lived in her home for five years and never dealt with the problem until recently.

"Last two to three months, it's been happening quite often," she said. "There's toxic fumes when the wind is blowing a certain direction, you get all the toxic fumes."

Back in 2015, Denver7's partners at The Denver Post reported on Arvada's contract with Union Pacific for quiet zones at four crossings within the city, in hopes to cut down on train horns.

The train currently in question, is not in one of those zones.

Union Pacific Railroad provided this statement about the situation:

"We know this is frustrating and we apologize for the inconvenience. We are aware of the issue and we are making plans to move the train as soon as possible."

The City of Arvada said they have forwarded resident feedback to Union Pacific Railroad, but beyond that, they have "no regulatory authority associated with railroads."

Officials did not provide further information on why the train was left idling, but according to Union Pacific Railroad's website, a train can idle for four reasons: waiting during "work events,"meeting or passing other trains, maintaining air brake pressure and keeping the train's cooling system from freezing during the cold weather.