You Asked: Why blast those train horns at night?

Q: Almost every night in Pittsfield, past midnight, CSX freight trains sound their horns frequently and loudly while traveling through the city, audible from miles away. Since there are no longer any railroad crossings in the city, why are the train horns necessary?

— Bob McDonough, Pittsfield, Mass.

A: We hear you, Bob, and we hear those train horns! So we checked in with the Federal Railroad Association. Here is the organization's response:

"We appreciate that the sound of air horns can be disruptive to some people, but in the interest of public safety locomotive engineers are required by law to sound their horns at crossings, tunnels, bridges, passenger and commuter rail stations, as well as any situation that may, in their estimation, present a safety threat. Federal law requires that engineers sound their air horns in a four-signal sequence: Two long, one short and one long."

So while there are no road crossings along the rail line, there is a passenger stop in the city. Hence the horns.

Q: I've heard of more farmers markets offering indoor winter events. Where can I find them around here?

A: Yes, there are several in our region. Lucky us! Instead of having regular weekly hours, they tend to be once a month or so. Here are ones we know of in the Berkshires and southern Vermont:

North Adams Farmers Market holds a winter market at the city's American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive. The indoor market will be taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, including this Saturday, Jan. 7, as well as Feb. 4, March 4, April 1 and May 6.

Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market holds its market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., every second Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, 16 Melville St., Pittsfield.

Berkshire Grown will host winter markets on Jan. 14 and Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road, Great Barrington.

Get more Massachusetts details at

Bennington Farmers' Market runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, Jan. 7 and 21, Feb. 4 and 18, March 4 and 18, and April 1 and 15, at the First Baptist Church, 600 Main St., in Bennington.

Dorset Farmers Market runs every Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the J.K. Adams Store, 1430 Route 30, Dorset.

There's no Bellows Falls winter market this year, but Brattleboro Farmers Market is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, 157 Main St., Brattleboro.

Get more Vermont details at

Do you have a question you'd like answered? Email or write to 75 S. Church St., Pittsfield, MA 01201.


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