Quiet Zones & Reporting Train Horn Violations

Quiet Zones along railroad lines are designated as such to silence train horns at crossings. All trains are prohibited in using the horns unless in an emergency. There are two railroad crossings in the vicinity of Tustin that are designated Quiet Zones. 


Depending on the location where the train horn came from, the violation should be reported to the appropriate agency:

  • Harvard Avenue: City of Irvine
  • Red Hill Avenue: City of Tustin
No Train Horn sign


It is important that as much information is provided to report the violation. The violation can happen anytime so whatever information is provided can be used and reported to the appropriate railroad and Federal Railroad Administration.

Information required to report a train horn violation includes:

  • Contact information for person(s) who witnessed the violation
  • Date of the violation
  • Person(s) who witnessed the violation
  • Time the horns started and ended
  • Train direction of travel
  • Train engine number


It is important to note the train horn pattern:

  • By law, engineers must sound their horn four times when passing through a crossing, two long bursts, a short burst and one long burst. A potential violation in a quiet zone would be a train horn blast in such a pattern. 
  • A single horn blast is not considered a violation. Each city handles its own train horn violation reports.


Whenever you are near a railroad crossing, be sure to look and listen for a train coming in either direction before crossing the tracks. It is important to remember that train engineers will sound the horn as a warning:

  • If the automatic warning and traffic signal devices are malfunctioning or out of service
  • If there is a safety concern at the station (however as required the train rings the engine bell upon arriving and leaving the train station)
  • In an area where construction crews are within or along the railroad right-of-way
  • In an emergency
  • When there is a trespasser on the tracks