It’s Quiet In Washougal

Trains don’t whistle in Washougal.  A few years ago all the grade crossings in town were upgraded so that the area could be declared a whistle free zone.  Each crossing has a warning sign to let motorists know not to expect a whistle in addition to a center divider which prevent traffic from going around the gates.  Pretty normal quiet zone treatment.

Washougal has 5 of these crossings.  As I traveled over them today I wondered why they still need 5 grade crossings especially considering there is an overpass north of downtown.  A couple of the minor crossing were on what looked like little used city streets.  I’m betting they could give up 2 or 3 and still have plenty of capacity to get travelers across town.  In fact I’m surprised that BNSF didn’t have them close a couple during the project.

For now though it appears all 5 crossing are working as the three trains I saw passed through town relatively quietly.  I’m sure all the local residents appreciate this.

2 thoughts on “It’s Quiet In Washougal”

  1. I’m considering purchasing a house close to downtown Washougal. I have been searching everywhere trying to find anything about the train noise there.I am very glad I found this article. Thanks for the info!

  2. You won’t get much whistle noise thanks to the quiet zones. As you might expect trains still make noise. There are sidings in Washougal and Camas so trains will stop in both places and have to accelerate again to track speed. Heavy coal, grain, and oil trains will bang across switches and rail joints. I’m not trying to turn you away, I’m just making sure your expectations are set. Generally railroads are good neighbors as long as you understand what they are doing.

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