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The prohibited use of train horns at quiet zones only applies to trains when approaching and entering crossings and does not include train horn use within passenger stations or rail yards. Train horns may be sounded in emergency situations or to comply with other railroad or Federal Railroad Administration rules even within a quiet zone. Quiet zone regulations also do not eliminate the use of locomotive bells at crossings.
Communities wishing to establish quiet zones must work through the appropriate public authority that is responsible for traffic control or law enforcement at the crossings.
By comparison, according to a chart from the FRA, a car driving 40 mph, 50 feet away, would be in the 60- to 70-decibel range and a blender would be in the 70- to 80-decibel range.
Elm Street to McCamly Street, CN line -- 25 freight, 8 Amtrak, 3 Norfolk SouthernMichigan Avenue, CN crossing -- 25 freight, 2 AmtrakKendall Street, CN crossing -- 25 freightKendall Street, Michigan line crossing -- 8 Amtrak, 3 NS
As an example:Taking the total number of trains from Elm to McCamly, 36, multiplied by the number of horn blasts required by the federal Train Horn Rule -- two long, one short, one long (four) -- there are currently 864 horn blasts per day in this section. There are six crossings from Elm to McCamly.
There are a variety of safety measure options entities can use to accomplish this and vary by crossing. In addition to the required two-quadrant gates, lights and bells, improvements could be four-quadrant gates, raised curbs in the median, channelization and wayside horns. Entities also can choose to close a public crossing, removing the requirement for a train to sound its horn on approach.