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Citizen complaint of the day: Do you know how annoying the Readville train yard is? No, but hum a few bars ...

A fed-up citizen files a 311 complaint about the intractable noise from the train yard in Readville:

Please make the nighttime noise from the Readville train yard stop. The humming noise is apparent from over 2 miles away and has been going on for years now.

The complainer does not specify if this is the MBTA commuter-rail yard or the CSX freight yard on the Dedham line. Another citizen, though, points a sleep-deprived finger at the T:

Low frequency humming noise continues to be heard up in Hyde Park at night. Seems to be coming from Readville station, and has been seriously affecting quality of life and the ability to sleep.



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I know this sounds like a classic case of "moved in next door to a dairy farm, complains about the manure smell," but they have a point. Whatever they've been doing at the Readville yards has been much louder much later at night over the past couple of weeks than it usually is.

Voting closed 41

I ran down the Burma Road last Friday for the first time in too many years. Going through Wolcott Square the noise was definitely there. The big question I have is "don't they have a way to plug the electric motors into the electrical grid so the diesel generators, which is most likely the source of the noise, can be shut down?" I thought that was something that can be done. I get why the motors need to stay on, but they are electric motors at the end of the day.

Voting closed 14

Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) is the Device You've Described

The locomotive service companies have been offering APUs for idling Diesel-Electric locomotives for at least 10 years, maybe longer. The original idea was to preclude idling the locomotive's diesel engine (aka the prime mover) when the loco is parked, or otherwise inactive.
An idling diesel loco uses 3-4 gallons/hour to idle; and APU will keep the diesel's water coolant hot (preventing freezing), and use only 0.25 gal/hour of fuel. Current generation hybrid battery/fuel APUs consume 0.16 gal/hour.

An APU engine is produces as much noise as a lawn tractor, as opposed to a 12-cylinder diesel engine at idle.

The diesel price jump from $3/gal to $6/gal this spring totally justifies APU installation on fuel savings alone. The added side benefits of APU deployment of vasty reduced noise footprint and lowered exhaust emissions are just gravy.

Don't let them sidetrack you saying they need a "noise study"; get an active field test and deployment instead. They can do a noise study in 24 hours with 2 locomotives: One "standard", one APU-equipped. Two iPhones running a noise monitoring app & logging function, you're good to go.

Get the local House Rep (Pressly?) to find federal funding for a demonstration project.

Voting closed 0

So assuming its the T. I can hear it from about 1 mi away.

Voting closed 18

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While i can hear the noise its not that bad. My concern would be the electrification of the line, the screaking brakes similar to the OL would be considerable worse.

Voting closed 15

They are nearing completion of their gate to the upside down. The digging of Mother Brook is simply a nearly 400 year old plan for deception from the real objective. Watch for lights under the water at Sprague Pond around midnight tonight.

Voting closed 17

GFY we don't answer to you we don't answer to anybody.

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From a Keep Hyde Park Beautiful newsletter last month:

"For years, Hyde Park residents have been complaining about nighttime noise and vibrations and debating about what it is and where it comes from. Thanks to advocacy by State Representatives Rob Consalvo and Bill Driscoll, Senator Mike Rush, and City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, the MBTA's Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for this year includes a $200,000 sound study for the Hyde Park, Readville, and Milton areas to try to determine the source and severity of the noise - an important first step to finding solutions to the problem."

I live just outside of Readville, and I hear it. I know people in the Oakdale section of Dedham that hear it. Everyone knows that hum. Probably the most annoying thing is that no one knows what's causing it, so we don't know what exactly to be mad at!

Voting closed 11

The low frequency thrum has been extremely aggravating for several years. It's very disruptive to sleep.

Here is some science about the effects: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/15/5205/htm

"low-frequency noise is a powerful stressor. The most cited effects on human health refer to emotional changes such as annoyance [19,20], agitation, and distraction [2,21,22], in addition to the association of low-frequency noise with cognitive alterations [23], the development of cardiovascular diseases [24,25], sleep disorders [26], and high blood pressure [27], and, more recently, the effects of industrial low-frequency noise on dental wear [28,29]."

Voting closed 3

I live at the end of HP Ave. Between the CSX booms that happen periodically that shake the apartment and the hum of the trains, only once I could not sleep and the hum did not help. I filled out the form and we shall see

Voting closed 10

Recent meetings on this has labeled the MBTA yard as the culprit, however, visits to the area have yet to be able to firmly and definitively point the finger of blame to the MBTA yard since it is active industrial area with overnight work. However many people have gotten up at night and tried to track the noise down and have yet to be successful. Even elected officials that have gone out at night and the local police can't be sure it is one for the rail yards as yet.

Voting closed 3

My sympathies to the folks enduring the noise, but 311 regards things the city can control, and the city has absolutely no control of either CSX or the MBTA. And the two railroads, due to various federal laws and regulations, can pretty much do what they please, so long as it doesn't directly violate the rules. I'm glad a study was funded, but it will probably take quite a bit of time for any understanding of cause to develop. And then, getting any responsible party to address such cause will be challenging at best.

Voting closed 7