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Chaz Explains How Many Decibels a Train Horn Puts Out

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Whether you are stuck at the tracks waiting to cross, or you work near them like we do here at Rock 108, trains that roll through town can be pretty irritating – especially when you have to hear the loud train horn 12 or more times a day. But, exactly how loud is that train horn?

The Painman and myself were outside getting a little fresh air. OK, we were out smoking. Anyway, one of several trains that go through Abilene, was cruising through town. Of course, when trying to talk to each other, we couldn’t hear anything because of the train horn. I started wondering exactly how many decibels does a train horn put out.

According to Train Horns Delivered, most train horns put out about 140 decibels, sometimes up to 150 or more. That’s pretty dang loud! To put it in prospective, a rock concert, depending on the sound engineer (ahem..Joe Michie), reaches up to 125 decibels.

I dug a little bit further and asked my buddy Jeremy, who’s a train conductor, how many times do they have to blow the horn.

“FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) says we have to blow the horn 2 longs, 1 short, 1 long at every crossing.”

So, there you have it. Train horns are loud, and they are blown a bunch of times at each crossing. Now you know.

While train horns are loud, there are other sounds that may be even more annoying. What sound annoys you the most?

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