For hundreds of Pleasanton residents--perhaps even thousands--who live within earshot of the Union Pacific railroad trains that travel through Pleasanton every night, a better night's sleep may be on the way. The City Council agreed Tuesday to spend $150,000 to study the financial feasibility and ongoing costs of placing full crossing barriers on the four grade crossings at the tracks, a project that could cost $2 million for starters. These fully-protected crossings, which would bar both pedestrians and vehicles from skirting around the single gate now in position on each side of the tracks, would allow Union Pacific engineers to silence their horns when coming through town. As it is, state and railroad laws require them to toot four times as they are approaching each crossing. In the old days, when there was one, maybe two trains a night, the horns were tolerable. Today, however, with much heavier train traffic, it's almost a constant barrage of diesel horns sounding from dusk to dawn, enough to make even the soundest sleeper toss, turn and wake, train after train after train.
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posted Friday, June 20, 2008, 12:00 AM