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Loudspeaker from Caltrain

Original post made by Sleepless in PA North, Downtown North, on Nov 14, 2013

The Caltrain speaker noise from the University Avenue station is increasing in volume and frequency, from the dubiously helpful "Attention train approaching" to an ongoing litany of announcements beginning at 4am, continuing into the late hours of the evening. The train itself is such an integral part of Palo Alto, but this new loudspeaker system is a noisy public nuisance. To voice concerns, contact:
Palo Alto Police non emergency 650-329-2413
San Mateo Transit Police 877-723-7245
Caltrain 1-800-660-4287

Comments (5)

Posted by RRRRRita
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm

We live on Emerson near Churchill, and have had to add extra sound-dampening insulation to our house due to both the loudspeaker at the downtown CalTrain Station and the bells at the RR crossing!

Now, if there were something that could be done about the shaking when a mile-long freight train goes by at night....

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 15, 2013 at 5:30 am

Wow, I can't hear that speaker from my neighborhood but if you can hear it from Churchill it must be loud. [Portion removed.] As for the mile-long freights, I'm sure they are more efficient than ten miles of trailer-trucks hauling those loads generated by the economic and construction activity of a million people living on the peninsula north of us. I'd think we'd have a bit less freight through Palo Alto if the Dumbarton rail bridge were ever rebuilt. And commute trains running across the bay would alleviate some of the traffic on the bridges, and maybe even decrease the pressures for more high density housing on this side.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

RRRRRita - has the shaking gotten worse or perhaps more frequent? If so, it makes me wonder if the trains are heavier now, or if there's an issue w/your foundation or something? I feel for you and the OP - it's one thing to move to a place knowing about the current noise, but having it increase like that is a real quality of life issue.

Posted by Sleepless in PA North
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

I have been following up on the loudspeaker noise -- it isn't coming from University Avenue at all! The announcements are coming from a loudspeaker at the Stanford stop -- that's right, the Special Events platform above the Embarcadero Avenue underpass which is in use about 10 days a year. This means all of those announcements are being blasted at an unused platform for no purpose! That's just silly. Caltrain needs to use that speaker on special event days only and give residents some peace the other 350+ days a year.

Posted by Sleepless in PA North
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

A very happy outcome!! Today I received the following email from Caltrain:
"Thank you for sharing your comments with Caltrain. We apologize for the disturbance that you have experienced in regards to the announcements over the loudspeakers from the Stanford station. We forwarded your report to the proper parties for review. We were informed that they have agreed to turn off the announcements at the Stanford station (except for game days when the station will be in use). Thank you for sharing your feedback and again we apologize for any inconvenience from the PA system. We strive to be the best neighbor possible and we look forward to providing you with more positive Caltrain experiences."

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