3 Colo. towns try to change US train-noise rules

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) Three northern Colorado towns tired of freight train horns blaring day and night are on a mission to change federal train safety policy so they can muffle warning blasts.

Under pressure from Colorado's two Democratic senators and the towns of Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor, the Federal Railroad Administration has agreed to hold hearings next year on the train-horn rule.

The 2005 regulation requires horns to blow at least 15 seconds in advance of all public grade crossings. The horns help save lives, decreasing the number of fatalities and accidents at train crossings nationwide.

The FRA grants "quiet zone" designations if towns take precautions such as installing gate warning systems with flashing lights. The three cities insist they either can't afford the upgrades or don't have space for them.

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