Anyone Else Hear a Train Horn Blaring for over 20 minutes Last Night?

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoPville,

There’s a train horn that’s been going on since at least 11:55, but that’s just when I looked at the clock. I’m sure that the horn doesn’t exist solely to annoy me, so I was wondering if you or your readers had any idea why it’s been going on for 20+ minutes. I live in Hill East and can hear it quite clearly, so I feel bad for anyone that lives closer to the tracks or Union Station.”

24 Comment

  • Yup, I live in Truxton Circle and was wondering wtf was going on.

  • I live pretty close to union on cap hill and didnt notice it
    i normally can hear trains at random when the house is still at night but i actually enjoy it… reminds me of when i used to live in ATL (where you can hear trains from pretty much every corner of the city)

  • Heard it down in Hillcrest, lasted about 28 minutes before I fell asleep.

  • Yes, I heard it. I’m in Bloomingdale, and I even said, out loud, “Shut up, train.”

  • Yep. I live over by the Convention Center and wondered the same thing. Of course a little later there was a bucket truck in our alley at 1:30 in the morning repairing a light in the alley so I was wondering about that as well.

  • Yeah, I live on the north end of Bloomingdale and I could hear it pretty loudly from my second-floor, south-facing windows. The long spell of it (~15-20 minutes) stopped and then briefly restarted again.

  • I’m close to H street and I heard it as well. I was up reading yesterday’s popville posts so it didn’t bother me too much.

  • Hahaha, I would love to hear the reasoning behind it. Either mechanical malfunction or some serious obstruction, long lasting malfunction?

  • Yes, definitely heard it in Mt Vernon Sq. Sounded more like a bunch of cars laying on their horns for 20 minutes–figured it was part of a protest.

  • I live near Lincoln Park and definitely heard it the entire time I walked my dog at around 11:30pm. I thought it was crazy how long it was going on and also was wondering how terrible it must have been for people who live closer to the tracks.

  • Didn’t hear it last night but being new in Kingman Park since August, it took me a while to get used to the horn blasting I hear coming from the east. Thought it was Metro just before going underground in the RFK parking lot, but have decided it’s the CSX tracks on the far side of the Anacostia river. It can be really excessive and that sound travels.

    Not sure if that was it, but they suck.

  • Yes! I thought I was dreaming! I heard it and thought, why does that train have its horn on – he doesn’t even have to stop at lights….then he got further away and I fell asleep

  • I live off of Barrack Row and hear the horns every night. My question is why the trains need to blair the horns numerous times each night?

    • There is something called the “Train Horn Rule” but it is mostly about sounding the horn at public highway-rail grade crossings. Don’t know if that has anything to do with it because who knows where they do it. I don’t think they are allowed to ignore it at night. There may even be regs about when the go into and/or come out of tunnels since that is something I have noticed for Metro.
      From the Federal Railroad Administration: “If a train is traveling faster than 60 mph, engineers will not sound the horn until it is within ¼ mile of the crossing, even if the advance warning is less than 15 seconds.” Even goes into the pattern: “Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of 2 long, 1 short and 1 long blast. The pattern must be repeated or prolonged until the lead locomotive or lead cab car occupies the grade crossing. The rule does not stipulate the durations of long and short blasts.”

      For the truly nerdy look at what Union Pacific put out about what all the horns mean:

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    Definitely heard it in Petworth. And then sirens howling from afar afterwords… they may have been unrelated to the train horns. What the heck was going on?

  • I heard it REALLY loudly. I live right by Ft. Totten metro in North Michigan Park. It was pretty annoying…and almost alarming.

  • YES! I live in Bloomingdale and it seemed to last for closer to an hour. Maybe it just seemed like longer since I was trying to fall asleep. I’m so glad someone else heard it too.

  • That woman looking for her man bun resorted to a train horn to get his attention three days into a love lost bender.

  • Heard it in Shaw.

  • I heard it pretty loud in Brookland and my fiancé said I was crazy. I’m glad someone else heard it.

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