Whiting pursues quiet zone designation for rail crossings

2013-08-24T18:47:00Z 2013-08-24T21:06:13Z Whiting pursues quiet zone designation for rail crossingsPaul Czapkowicz Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 24, 2013 6:47 pm  • 

WHITING | A plan to establish quiet zones at city railroad crossings is expected to come to fruition once funding is in place.

"Basically, it's a whistle ban," Mayor Joseph Stahura said.

But to prevent trains passing through the city's six railroad crossings from sounding their whistles, certain safety standards must first be achieved.

"You have to put the technology at the crossings to allow the gates at the railroad crossings to go up and down according to the speed of the train," Stahura said. "One of the other things that's required is to put up a barrier system so people cannot go around the gates."

Stahura said at a public forum earlier this month that establishing the quiet zones could be financed through a bond issuance.

He said although more than 80 trains pass through the city daily, the number of vehicles that cross the tracks is below the threshold at which the federal government would require the three independent railroads that use the tracks to spend money to improve the crossings.

Stahura believes it could be easier to attract new development to the city without horns blaring throughout the day.

"The safety concerns for me are almost nonexistent, because you have to jump through so many hoops to be able to qualify for the quiet zone that I believe the crossings would be more safe than they are today," he said.

Stahura said the city should have a better idea regarding available funding within about the next six weeks.

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