Trains operated by the Canadian Pacific Kansas City railroad company have been using horns at crossings within Richardson and Plano as part of reactivating the freight train corridor running through the two cities, leading some residents to complain about the extra noise.

Jeamy Molina, a spokesperson for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, said trains are currently using their horns as a safety precaution while the rail operator ensures the crossings function as intended by monitoring all equipment in the area.

The overview

Railway operations resumed March 3 in Richardson and in Plano, according to a DART news release. In Richardson, the company operates trains on two tracks—one that spans Buckingham Road in the south to the President George Bush Turnpike in the north, and the other which goes from the northern border with Plano to near North Point Park east of Renner Road.

Freight operations for the line previously paused for around one and a half years to allow for construction of railroad tracks for the over $2 billion Silver Line operated by DART. Once the Silver Line enters service in late 2025 or 2026, the Silver Line will run from Plano to Terminal B inside Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport.

Molina said that as operations continue ramping back up, trains will continue using their horns as they approach crossings until testing of the crossings is completed.

Digging deeper

Trains operating in the two cities do so in “quiet zones," which are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration and allow a train to only sound its horn in situations where a hazard is on or near the tracks. Both cities have "quiet zones" designated near certain crossings.

Per the news release, Plano has 12 crossings along the operational freight line, while Richardson has two on the Silver Line alignment.

Molina said that DART, which is responsible for the rail track and crossings, thoroughly scrubbed the tracks to remove any buildup while the track was dormant between July 2022 and March 2024.

What’s next?

Molina said that the “quiet zones” should be observed as early as next week once required testing of crossing infrastructure is complete.