OHIO RAIL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
If you live near a railroad in your community, the sound of passing trains can be nostalgic for some, just part of the everyday noise, or an irritant to others. In many of Ohio’s growing communities development of both homes and businesses have crept closer to the state’s many railroad corridors, in some cases literally next door.
This has created a demand in some neighborhoods for a way to limit the noise coming from passing trains, especially when the train engineer sounds the locomotive horns as the train approaches a grade crossing.
This has given rise to the concept of designated “quiet zones”. What follows is information on how a “quiet zone” is defined by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and some recently passed legislation here in Ohio that concerns te creation of “quiet zones.”
Currently trains are required to sound their horns when they approach a highway-rail grade crossing. There are several measures at both the state and federal level which could effect this. First the FRA has issued an Interim Final Rule regarding the use of train horns. That rule does several things including setting a maximum decibel level for train horns and specifying position of the horns on the locomotive, but most directly, the FRA identifies steps which communities could take to create a "quiet zone" or area where a train would not have to sound its horns when approaching a grade crossing. For more information on the federal rule, please see the link below.
For the Ohio Rail Development Commission’s comments on the FRA rule, please see the link below.
At the state level, the General Assembly has just passed House Bill 247 which outlines a procedure which communities can utilize to establish a quiet zone and identifies a pilot or demonstration area in suburban Cleveland. For more information on this bill, please see the link below.
both the federal and state legislation, it is up to the local community to
implement the quiet zone.
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