SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The city of San Jose may be on the verge of filing lawsuit against Union Pacific claiming the railroad has become a public nuisance running trains through downtown neighborhoods at all hours of the night.
“Union Pacific is obviously looking for ways to maximize profits by running trains at night through very crowded residential neighborhoods and thousands of people are not getting a good night’s sleep. And if they’re not going to relent, then obviously we will consider every legal option that we have,” said mayor Sam Liccardo.
Neighbors say they began to notice changes to the railroad’s operating schedule in recent months with train which normally ran during the day gradually shifting to later and later in the evening.
“It started coming a little later like 9 o’clock. And then 11 o’clock. And then all of a sudden, it was multiple times throughout the middle of the night and that’s when I decided this can’t be OK,” said neighbor Liezl Cruz-Hou.
Cruz-Hou posted and handed flyers in San Jose’s Japantown, hoping to galvanize neighbors who grown increasingly irritated with the noise.
“We live about 75 feet from the train tracks so it’s blaring and multiple times throughout the night,” she said.
A spokesperson from Union Pacific noted that the railroad tracks were laid long before the neighborhoods grew up around them. In a prepared statement, the spokesperson said, “Due to the nature of our extensive network and our role in supporting a reliable interstate commerce system, we operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
That’s a fact that neighbors have noticed and are far from happy about.
“At nighttime, that’s when I hear it. And it’s pretty loud too. And it’s not like a car horn that’s very light. It’s like that — times a hundred,” Ashwinder Singh said.