Train traffic in Ames has picked up significantly since the new pasta plantopened. A new system is being tested to warn motorists of on-coming trains at crossings without disturbing residents. Instead of having trains blow their horns upon approaching the crossings,horns have been mounted at three intersections that point down at traffic.Ames City Engineer Scott Logan says the automated horns are working well.Ames is among only three cities in the nation to test the new horn system.The horns are activated at the same time as the gates and red flashinglights. Logan says two surveys were taken of 500 residents around thecrossings, before and after the new warning systems were installed.Before, 85 percent said the train-mounted horns were very disturbing. After,it was a complete turnaround — 85 percent said it was a clear improvement.
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