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Just How Dangerous Are Those Trains Moving Through Santa Ana?

November 02, 2003

Re "In Santa Ana, Tracks Are Still a Cause for Concern," Oct. 22:

Jack Oakes is rightly concerned about the children in his school district, but he has several facts wrong.

Trains do not run through that part of Santa Ana at 90 mph. South of Ritchey Street is a 90-mph zone, but 50 mph is the maximum track speed through that part of Santa Ana.

Locomotives have earsplitting air horns that the engineer is required to sound at all grade crossings, and the locomotives also have exceptionally bright headlamps that can be seen at a distance of up to two miles, even in bright sunlight. In many cases, the reason motorists or pedestrians are killed is that they ignore the warnings.

Crossing gates close at least 20 seconds before a train reaches the crossing. More typical is 30 to 45 seconds.

Gary Moe

Fountain Valley

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