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Chaz Explains How Many Decibels a Train Horn Puts Out

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Whether you are stuck at the tracks waiting to cross, or you work near them like we do here at Townsquare Media, trains that roll through town can be pretty irritating – especially when you hear the loud train horn 12 or more times a day. But, exactly how loud is that train horn? After some extensive research (I asked a train dude), I have the answer for you.

According to Train Horns Delivered, most train horns put out about 140 decibels, sometimes up to 150 or more. That’s pretty dang loud! To put it in prospective, a rock concert, depending on the sound engineer (ahem..Joe Michie), reaches up to 125 decibels.

I dug a little bit further and asked my buddy Jeremy, who’s a train conductor, how many times do they have to blow the horn:

“FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) says we have to blow the horn 2 longs, 1 short, 1 long at every crossing.”

So, there you have it. Train horns are loud, and they are blown a bunch of times at each crossing. Now you know.

While train horns are loud and annoying, there are plenty of other sounds that may be equally annoying, though train horns and alarm clocks are at the top of my list.

But, what’s the most annoying sound to you?

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