Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I am originally from Minnesota and many of my Scandinavian immigrant relatives had their first jobs either on the train or laying tracks for the Great Northern Railroad including my grandfather.
I heard the whistle of the trains and the clickety-clack noise the engine and cars made on the tracks often as a child. I loved the sound when we moved to Richmond, a ‘train city’ for sure. Train tracks were everywhere, during WWII, and the sound of the train whistle in the distance was comforting to a little girl who had left everything she knew as so many others had or were soon going to.
Train ‘noise’ still is comforting. As long as I don’t live next to the tracks but several blocks away, I love the sound of the train whistle and the clickety-clack noise the ‘tires’ make on the tracks. I can understand, however, why many don’t; usually, where you live as an adult is an independent decision. When my husband and I bought our second home, the one we lived in the longest, I went to the lot at night and during the day before we bought it because I do not like the sound of automobile and truck traffic. I made sure we could not hear it because we were at the top of a low hill above most other homes in the community and with Highway 580 then at a lower edge of town (sound rises with the rising land), I wanted to be sure we could not hear it.
I can understand that not everyone likes the sound of a train and that the clickety-clack of the wheels meeting the tracks are not soothing to them.
I am assuming we all have choices, but understand that in reality we all do not have choices, some do — some do not.
Either way, there is not much you can do about railroad noise except move far enough away to not hear it. As Dennis Wyatt’s column in the paper stated on Monday, there is a very good reason why the trains have their ‘Morse code’ whistles going through town and I, personally, do not think the trains should stop blowing their whistles. I am certain the railroad engineers and workers on the moving trains do not enjoy running down or injuring anyone either. I vote for the railroad to continue warning all of us of the danger a huge train is as it cannot be expected to stop suddenly — it is too big, too heavy and too long to do so.