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Old 05-17-2009, 02:17 PM   #15
retired USA/USAF

2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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We were camping some years ago at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Co. They have a very nice campground off to one side on the grounds. Very nice, Very private. However, during the night it felt and sounded as if a squadron of blackhawk helicopters were having night excercises overhead. So loud that we couldn't speak and the vibrations shook everything. Anyhow, in the am I took a walk around and what did I find ???? Rail tracks about 50' away from our site down an embankment. Several times a day long ( and I mean long) coal trains come through. These trains have 2-3 engines at the front, a couple in the middle and couple more at the end.

I felt better knowing what all the commotion was however it is still very noisy. But still a very nice campground. Well worth the stop for those of us on this forum that have military base privledges.

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Old 05-17-2009, 07:01 PM   #16
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Elvie, I don't think anyone is against trains or train horns, but while you're trying to sleep it's another thing. I always have wondered how people with apartments next to an elevated passenger railroads in cities ever survived. Then there's the small towns with a railroad where everyone has to listen. Or the hotel room window with the flashing neon sign outside (even better when the light flickers). Last night's campground had a street light next to the trailer. We stayed at a La Quinta next to I-70 near Golden, Colo., a couple of years back. The fire alarm went off at 2 am and then the fire engines came. I seemed to be the only customer that woke up. I put some clothes on, put my computer in the truck, went to see what was going on. I didn't see any smoke, so we didn't pack up. It was a leaking valve on the sprinkler system which caused a drop in pressure which triggered the alarm. After all the excitement, it took a while to get back to sleep.

People who build RV campgrounds put them next to railroads because the land is cheaper on the edge of town where no one wants to build a house or a nursing home. In the Columbia Gorge there's probably few places to build anything. The campground owner is responsible for the site. There are websites with RV reviews, but I don't remember to use them, or can't get a place with wireless. Just Google something like "rv reviews" and the city and state, but they ought to provide a good warning.


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Old 05-17-2009, 07:50 PM   #17
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by Elvie View Post
As a retired railroader, let me say that locomotive engineers would like to remain employed just like everyone else, so they blow the whistle as required by the company even if they can see for miles and the crossing is all clear. There was a time when blowing the whistle was not blown loudly if at all depending on conditions. But with the proliferation of lawsuits that practice had to stop.

Spending the money to get the crossing safe enough to protect those who would drive in front of a train is about the only option left IMHO. Even then there will still be the noise of the locomotives so it's just a partial solution.

Converting to overhead electric and ribbon rail is the best way to quiet trains that I can think of. We ought to be using more rail anyway(way better fuel economy-less air pollution). Get those trucks off my highway!

So, Stop, look, and listen.
Most people don't know there are people employed by the railroad and the government to hide in the bushes and make sure the whistle is blown when mandated, among other things.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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Once while cycling to Colorado from Ohio, we'd just crossed the Mississippi River by ferry after 3 days in Illinois (were close to 100mi/day at that point).

Set my tent up at the little campground at Canton, MO, and spent a little time watching the tugs & barges heading through the lock.

Sometime in the middle of the night I woke up in a near panic - I was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN one of those tugs had gotten to the landward side of me and was about to plow me under. Another two seconds and I realized it was just a freight on the train tracks, some 30-40 feet to my west. I'd noticed them, but not paid them any attention. Thus comforted, I just went back to sleep.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #19
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We stayed near the bridge in 2006 in a beautiful campground. I know exactly what you went through. That was the first stop on the Maple leaf caravan in 2006. That area is one of the most scenic places we have been.

Most of those trains are piggybacks hauling all that junk merchandise from China. I would have thought the bad economy would have reduced the volume some.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:16 PM   #20
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Heading East on I-40 on a road trip before we became 'indoctrinated' into the AS lifestyle (IE-before we'd seen the light!) was getting dark as we passed into New Mexico from Arizona and found a small Rest Area to take a break...

We were in our Ford/Lance Camper rig, and decided to spend the night for some road-weary sleep....NOT!

That Rest Area was built right next to some high red rock bluffs that, as we found out later, made a perfect echo chamber to amplify the sounds of the many freight trains finding their way Westbound down an incline... All night long!

Well, when you're tired, you can get used to anything, and I eventually nodded off - my wife had a harsher opinion! Hey, it's a road trip, grin and bear it, right?

Here's a couple of pic's I took the next morning...
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Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #21
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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This thread has become the present. Now in Glasgow, Montana, at the Shady Rest campground and I hear a train horn about every hour and can hear the wheels hitting the joints in the rails. I expect I may have a less accepting opinion in the morning. It is shady here though.

I wish they could have kept the whistles and the steam locomotives as well. Makes me remember being young once. We went to 2 train museums on this trip and nostalgia attacks hit hard.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #22
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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There is a nice SP up the Gorge from Cascade Locks, Maryhill on the Washington side. We
stayed there last night. No crossings in the area, so you can hear the rumble of the trains
without the whistles. Much better!

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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