Bureaucratic tangles threaten to delay the quelling of train horn noise on the A-Line


The cacophony of train horns along the University of Colorado A-Line, which has been rousting residents from their sleep and drowning out patio conversations for more than two years, won’t be silenced as quickly as many had hoped.

Despite getting the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s certification on Wednesday of Quebec Street — the 11th and final crossing — on the 23-mile line between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport, the Regional Transportation District says it still needs assurances from federal railroad officials that everything is fully in order before applications for quiet zones are submitted.

There are meetings scheduled with the Federal Railroad Administration in Denver and Washington, D.C., this week and next, yet no guarantee exists that those get-togethers will bring a speedy end to an issue that has raised tempers to a boiling point among thousands of neighbors who want their peace and quiet back.

“It’s like the pendulum of an old grandfather clock ticking side to side for 2½ years,” said David Martin, a Park Hill resident who keeps his windows closed in the summer to block out the horn blasts from trains crossing Dahlia Street. “Feelings have changed from being excited for the A-line to open, to disappointed, to hopeful, to angry, to deflated and back to excited again. Just when you think it’s going to end, one more surprise surfaces that causes yet another delay.”

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