Shakopee residents have been really good to me. The vast majority of the calls and emails that I get are about important issues and not frivolous (read=annoying) things.
By far, the single issue I get the most emails about is the train and how it blows the horn all the way through town some nights. It is frustrating and makes a lot of people angry. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it.
Shakopee has a long history with the trains coming through town. They bring a lot of jobs to our town and the benefits far outweigh the problems. However, some of the engineers tend to be a bit overzealous with their horn blowing. Unfortunately, we are stuck.
The train must blow it’s horn at every uncontrolled road crossing for safety – typically it should be two short and one long. Now, it seems like the solution would be simple – put crossing bars on each road crossing. That would be a city expense and cost well over a million dollars but the cost isn’t the biggest problem. If we put in all of the crossing bars, the trains would not have to slow down when coming into Shakopee and could buzz through town at high speeds. These high speeds would create an unsafe situation as well as the shaking resulting from high speeds could damage buildings and infrastructure. It is not a good situation.
Those saying, “Well, they live by a train. Deal with it.” aren’t taking in the entire context. Recently the tracks were upgraded through town allowing more, bigger trains each day. We have significantly more trains going through Shakopee now than just a few years ago. I also get a lot of feedback that the horns are blowing a lot more through town than they used to.
Councillor Matt Lehman is the liaison and representative for the city with the Train Safety Committee. Please let him know of your concerns and questions about the trains in Shakopee. He lives not far from the tracks and has some of the best understanding of the issues we face as a city with high-volume tracks running through the heart of our town.