Quiet Zones

Does horn noise from passing trains drive you crazy?

Historically, trains had to blow horns every time they passed a road crossing. Federal Rail Administration (FRA) rules allow communities to establish “quiet zones”. In quiet zones, horns are not normally used, except in special circumstances.

Some areas may qualify as “quiet zones” with the existing infrastructure, while others will have to make important safety upgrades to the crossings.

The prospect of more safety and less noise has enticed many communities to initiate and implement the quiet zone process. It is not an overnight kind of thing and not always cheap, but there is a clear flowchart of action items.

The rules also allow “wayside horns”, horns that are located at the crossing instead of on the train. These can allow the noise to stay localized to the crossing site, instead of disturbing the entire community.

Resources

FRA Horn Noise Rule

FRA Guidance on Quiet Zones 

Is train horn noise a problem in your town? (plain language information on quiet zones and wayside horns)

Examples of California cities with quiet zones implemented or in progress  Elk Grove (PDF) / Richmond / Placentia (Orange County) /San Clemente /Loma Linda  / San Jose Light Rail

News coverage  “Quiet Zones Praised”

Does your town have quiet zones implemented? Send us a link or your opinion about whether it was worth the effort  info@calhsr.com