MARINGOUIN, LA (WAFB) - Residents who live near the railroad tracks in Maringouin claim they are losing sleep over the trains that travel by their homes at night.
The trains might be hard to see at night, but residents who live on either side of the tracks say they can hear them coming. "Some of these guys, I'm talking about three or four or two o'clock in the morning, they'll just sit on that horn," said Phil Thibadeaux.
"Sometimes it sounds like it is derailing in your front yard," said Kodie Copeland.
"If I had a DBL meter, I guarantee you OSHA would come here and put some sort of pressure on these people," said Donald Miletello.
Miletello got so fed up he started recording the trains passing in front of his house. We counted four whistles from one train in just 18 seconds. Miletello says that's just a small taste of what he and his neighbors are dealing with now. "I would say out of 24 hours, we probably have about 15 trains a day coming through here, if not more," Miletello said.
Homeowners say the commotion came a couple of years ago when Union Pacific expanded its rails, adding another track from Livonia to Addis. There's also a rail yard nearby. Thibadeaux, who also lives in the area, says he can hardly catch a break from the noise. "They build trains all night long," Thibadeaux said.
Some residents say they have complained to the Point Coupee Police Jury, but much like the trains, all they get is a lot of back and forth.
"We've talked to the police jurors until we are blue in the face," Miletello said.
Residents had a couple of suggestions for the parish, including passing an ordinance that would make their neighborhood a soft zone, meaning the conductor would not lay on the whistle when the train passes through the residential area.
"I'd like to see less trains at nighttime and more maybe during the day when we are at work," Copeland said.
Police juror, Justin Cox, says there's not much the parish can do, but he says he did take their concerns to Union Pacific.
Thibadeaux told us by phone his daughter got fed up and moved out of the neighborhood, but others are hoping they can find a solution that does not compromise their way of life. "I like the land. It just sucks that the train is in our front yard," Copeland said.
Our calls to Union Pacific were not returned.