Trains whistles don’t bother him

The subject of quiet zones at night for trains has been in the paper the last couple of weeks, and I have to say I’m against it. I’ve lived just yards from the tracks with three crossings within a mile for 20-plus years, and they blow right outside my neighborhood going either way. I only remember being woken up once, on my first night with the window open, and I do sleep with them open often. It is surprising how easy it is to not notice a train near you until it blows its horn when they are coming up at 55 mph or more, especially when it’s coming around a curve or you’re distracted with something on your mind, you’re in the car, or walking along paying attention to some electronic gadget. When I asked my young children what they thought of the idea a few years ago, they said, “Keep them, it’s for safety! Why would you move near the tracks if you can’t stand the trains?” I find it a comfort to hear them at night, because I feel the driver is paying attention and doing his job. —                                                Daniel Turcotte, Elk River