San Jose officials threaten to sue Union Pacific to stop nighttime trains through neighborhoods

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A showdown in San Jose, between neighbors and railroad officials. Many in the community are fed up over loud freight trains which are rumbling through neighborhoods in the middle of the night waking residents and they want it to stop.

City officials are now threatening legal action against Union Pacific.

The sound that's keeping residents in south San Jose up at night is hard to miss.

"It's bad-- really loud-- It scares the cat. It rumbles the building," said neighbor Isabel Guillen.

Union Pacific freight trains are rolling between 10 PM and 6 AM. It's causing thousands of residents to lose hours of sleep.

Several hundred neighbors came to a community meeting Where U.P. officials explained why it started re-routing trains thru neighborhoods in February. As a way To increase efficiency and abide by government regulations

"We are obligated to run trains at night-- due to capacity during the day," said Union Pacific representative Francisco Castilio.

But frustrated neighbors lashed out. Many just want the nighttime trains to stop. The meeting became heated. Railroad officials threaten to walk out.

Mayor Sam Licardo says It's becoming a public health issue.

"This is a health issue for people who can't get any sleep, especially parents with kids,"'said Mayor Licardo.

But railroad officials told the crowd they won't stop the trains because their customers are relying on on time deliveries.

Licardo is now threatening legal action to stop the overnight trains.

"Ultimately we'll seek legal action if Union Pacific is not a cooperative partner," said Licardo.

Meantime, the city will study the possibility of establishing quiet zones at crossings so that train horn honking is prohibited. That study could take months

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