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Shakopee Trains Top List of Complaints Taken by the Mayor

The tracks have been upgraded allowing larger trains to travel more often through town each day. To hear the horn, click on the video.

Thus far in Shakopee 's term, he says downtown train noise is the most-complained about issue. And he's hearing it loud and clear, just as the residents are hearing the blast of the train horns all the way through town some nights.

"It is frustrating and makes a lot of people angry," Tabke wrote in a blog post today. "Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it."

He said Shakopee has a long history with the trains, which bring jobs and he said the benefits far outweigh the problems.

A train conductor must blow the horn at every uncontrolled road crossing for safety – typically, two short and one long. Tabke said while the solution might seem to be putting crossing bars at each crossing, the cost to the city would be more than $1 million. But that's not the biggest problem. 

"If we put in all of the crossing bars, the trains would not have to slow down when coming into Shakopee and could buzz through town at high speeds," he said. "High speeds would create an unsafe situation as well as the shaking resulting from high speeds could damage buildings and infrastructure. It is not a good situation."

Adding to the complaint level is the fact that recently the tracks were upgraded to allow larger trains to pass through town more often.

Shakopee City Councilor Matt Lehman is the liaison and representative for the city with the Train Safety Committee. Tabke recommended letting him know of any train-related concerns.

"He lives not far from the tracks and has some of the best understanding of the issues we face as a city with high-volume tracks running through the heart of our town," Tabke said.

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Kevin Wetherille May 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Councilor Lehman- Your comments are very helpful, thank you. I work in a building that sits next to the tracks, and have for 10 years. I have definitely seen an increase in the "horn honking" over the last 5 or so years. I was told that this may be the result of some disagreement between the city and railroads on the speed through town? Can you comment? You are correct though, it is too much. It is definitely more than two longs and a short...for sure. Is there anything our city can do to negotiate something with the railroad as opposed to more federal regulation?
C54 May 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Sorry but you really don't get use to the noise. My husband and I have lived in our home on 2nd ave. for 17 yrs. knowing full well of the train and the noise. You do get use to it in part. But in the last year or so the horn has become much more frequinte and louder. Espeacialy at night.
Roy September 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I was wondering if Matt Lehman could follow up on what or if anything further has been done to reduce the noise from the trains. The horn is definetly excessive and unnecessary, it is clearly not just a safety issue.
Joel January 19, 2013 at 10:12 AM
I bought a house off Sarazin, relatively far from town and the tracks. It's 4am right now and the train is blasting its horns as it does every night non-stop. I don't understand why the horn has to be so loud I can hear it through my house walls from a mile or more away?? It's only purpose is to alert crossing cars that are feet away? How many decades is it going to take for a common sense solution? I'm sure I would get pulled over for driving through the neighborhoods at night honking my horn, so why is it ok if they do it? I'd rather get hit by a 10mph train head on than listen to this stupid horn every night of my life...
Dain Deutschman October 05, 2013 at 01:54 PM
I'm near Lewis and 10th....the noise is so bad, especially at night. I really hate it. We have lived here since 2007 and it has become so much worse in that time. The excessive long honks go on for several minutes. It's constant. Waking up at 3am....I am beyond upset about this. I grew up right next to a train track....it was never this bad back in the 80's. It makes me very, very angry and I cannot wait to move away from Shakopee. Cannot stand it. It overshadows most of the positives. It is obviously worse at night...I work from home and am here all day long...I know. It's intentional and it is complete bull.

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