'No Train Horn' from Flickr user mrjoro
We're looking forward to the day when a spotless, 24/7, rail-based public transportation system stops 20 yards from our homes, offices, grocery stores and all the other random places we decide to go. As long as it's completely silent:
For decades, train engineers have sounded their horns warning drivers and pedestrians that the steel behemoths are approaching. If all goes well, however, the horns could begin to go silent in a matter of weeks... For years, the city [of Pomona] has been working to meet numerous safety conditions to create a Quiet Zone - an area where trains pass through without sounding their horns - in the city. Pomona's Quiet Zone includes $3.7 million "four quadrant" gates. One set of arms blocks approaching vehicles. Another closes after vehicles move off. Because of all the noises a train makes, crunching a stranded car is among the worst.
· Hushing up train horns [Daily Bulletin]