El Sereno seeks “Quiet Zone” to silence train horns

Photo Vxla/Flickr

Last year the residents of El Sereno celebrated the opening of a long-awaited Valley Boulevard bridge over the train tracks near Mariana Avenue. The $54 million Valley Grade Separation Bridge was supposed to eliminate the daily traffic jams and blaring train horns every time a Union Pacific freight train – as many as 30 a day – rumbled through the crossing.  The new bridge may have improved Valley Boulevard traffic but it has been far less effective in reducing train-related noise across El Sereno and Hillside Village. Engineers are still required by federal law to blast those horns at four other crossings between Alhambra and Mission Road in Lincoln Heights and also when train crews spot maintenance workers or anyone else walking along the tracks, said Rick Coca, spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar.

In order to get El Sereno some train-horn relief,  Huizar has instructed city staff to apply for a federal “Quiet Zone” through El Sereno.

The zone would cut down on all that honking but it would require federal review and the installation of new safety measures – including warning signs and quad crossing gates – at crossings, according to the City Council motion introduced by Huizar.  The City Council voted in favor of the motion but it’s not clear how long it would take for the Federal Railroad Agency to make a decision once  the application is submitted, so those train horns will keep reverberating through the canyons and valleys of El Sereno for some time to come. Said Coca:

This is just the first step in a series of processes that we have to go through, but the Councilmember is hoping that after long last, we can give people some relief. The bridge has certainly made life a little easier for El Sereno residents and our emergency personnel, but if we could reduce a significant amount of the train horns blowing, that would be great relief for the community.


  1. In other news: people who chose to live near Dodger Stadium demand that people stop parking near them. This just in: people who live near Sunset are petitioning for people to stop walking around drunk late at night. Breaking news: Angelenos living next to freeway demand limits to “constant trafficky sounds”

  2. RealTalk is a Real Smart A**. Try listening to that train horn every 2 hours. No comparison to traffic noise or parking issues.

  3. Are you kidding me ……………..the trains have been there since 18-0-dirt before you moved there? You didnt notice train tracks ? On the day you moved there No train horns? I grew up in El Sereno no biggie .Do you have train horn syndrome LOl


  5. my family has lived in El Sereno (on both sides of the tracks) for over 40 years. honestly, the horn on the trains was never a problem, and I’ve never heard anyone wine about the train.
    suck it up. it wouldn’t be El Sereno w/out the trains!

  6. Papi in El Sereno

    I kind of miss hearing the old train horn, but every now and then they still blast it. Probably just to irk the crybabies. And by the way, there is no community of ‘Hillside Village’ in El Sereno, there is only El Sereno.

  7. I used to live in El Sereno..train horns are the most beautiful part of my life..it reminds me of so many beautiful memories. i never got disturbed by train horns.

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