San Jose residents losing sleep over blaring train horns, Mayor considering legal action

There have been some sleepless nights lately for residents in downtown San Jose. An increase in overnight train traffic has meant an increase in noise complaints. And now the mayor is contemplating legal action.

Union Pacific admits they've adjusted their schedule in recent months. Residents say they're frustrated by the blaring horns.

Resident Mirna Robles says, "It's really hard. It's no sleep good because it's really, really hard anytime in the nighttime."

Neighbors off Oakland Road near Brokaw have complained. People in Japantown have too. And now San Jose's Mayor is saying enough is enough.

Mayor Sam Liccardo says, "There's a reasonable response to that which is if they're creating a nuisance in a city like San Jose then we have legal options that we should pursue. And we're looking at all those options now."

The only other option, according to Union Pacific is for the city to establish a "quiet zone." But city officials fear that would be both expensive and potentially dangerous for the homeless living near the tracks.

Liccardo says, "It's certainly convenient for Union Pacific to benefit their own pocketbook to run these nighttime trains, and then tell local cities hey your own taxpayers have to come up with the millions of dollars of infrastructure to create these so-called quiet zones and hope these quiet zones don't create some risk of loss of life."

But without that change, Union Pacific officials say crews are "required" to blow the horn as they approach these downtown crossings. Residents just wish the trains would go back to their old schedule, and they could go back to sleep.

Robles says, "I think everybody together say stop, not anytime. That's ok but not every hour."

There will be a community meeting with Union Pacific representatives and city officials next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Northside Community Center, 488 N. 6th Street in San Jose.