If it were a movie, it would be called “The Silence of the Horns.”
San Juan Capistrano city officials celebrated the first day trains rolling through town without blasting their horns.
The City Council declared San Juan a so-called quiet zone 4 ½ years ago after the Orange County Transportation Authority agreed to install upgraded safety features at the railroad crossings through town.
After clarifying the issue of how much insurance coverage the city needed in case of a disaster, the horns could officially stopped blowing.
The day was personally a big deal for Mayor John Taylor, who has lived 50 feet from the tracks for 24 years. He joked that his family might not be able to sleep without the shrill announcement of the nightly freight train.
Councilman Sam Allevato, the longest-standing member of the City Council, said it was resident Mke Wernet who first broached the idea of a quiet zone.
Wernet was on hand to celebrate the first train, a Metrolink commuter, to come through town and not blow its horn.
“When I talked to the mayor, my concern [was] that it would be done safely,” said Wernet, a resident of Capsitrano Valley Mobile Estates. “It has to be done right.”