Train Quiet Zones..Has PTC ever looked into this?

Establishing a Quiet Zone

There are both Federal and State regulations that govern the sounding of train locomotive horns. Federal regulations called the Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, 49 CFR 222 (“Horn Rule”), require that trains sound their horns as a warning to highway users at public highway-rail crossings. California Public Utilities Code Section 7604 requires that trains sound their horns at all private and pedestrian crossings as well.

The Horn Rule allows localities to establish “quiet zones”, which prohibits the routine sounding of horns at quiet zone designated rail crossings. In order to establish a quiet zone, the crossing must have:

Minimum Length of at least one-half mile along the railroad track (except where a new quiet zone is added to an existing quiet zone).

Active grade crossing warning devices that include both flashing lights and gates that control traffic over the crossing. In addition, the crossing must be equipped with constant warning time devices (regulating when the gate arms drop), if reasonably practical, and power-out indicators.

Advance Warning Signs that advise the motorist that train horns are not sounded at the crossing.

In order to establish a quiet zone, the City must first provide a written Notice of Intent to the Federal Railroad Administration, California Public Utilities Commission, and the railroad carrier operating over the impacted right-of-way. The Notice of Intent has a 60-day comment period. If there is a private and/or pedestrian grade crossing in the proposed quiet zone, a diagnostic team (composed of representatives of the impacted railroad carrier, the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission) must evaluate whether or not the quiet zone meets the above stated criteria. After expiration of the 60-day comment period (or after completion of diagnostic team recommendations, if any) the City must provide a Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment with a minimum 21-day notice period. The quiet zone is established upon expiration of the 21-day notice period. Thereafter, the routine sounding of horns at the quiet zone crossing is prohibited."

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bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sun, 11/04/2007 - 10:04pm.

The Vinings Community Working to Silence the Train Horn

The Federal requirement calls for a four-quadrant gate system for each crossing.

Like everything else, where's the money going to come from?

Maybe Mr. Harman will use the tax money from his new Kohl's to almost fund it. Then again he could sell off our water system to neighboring communities too. Oh I forgot, he already tried to sell that once already didn't he.

The Town of Vinings is having to ask for private donations.

The only real problem I have with this is that the rail-road was there long before the houses were. It's kind of like people complaining about the noise while living near the airport.

If you could get CSX to pay for it, I'm all for it.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Mon, 11/05/2007 - 4:26pm.

I assumed that the crossings in place would be enough. That's what I get for assuming.

That being said, my Grandfather worked for Southern Railroad and he taught me to always make sure a train wasn't coming down the tracks. I don't need a crossing guard to tell me that.

Not complaining per say, but if it could be reasonably silenced, I would be for it. Sometimes on Sunday, they seem to really lay on the horns. Smiling

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