(January 3, 2011) The City of Frisco has completed the process to establish a railroad ‘quiet zone,’ which will take effect at five railroad crossings in the city beginning Wednesday, January 5. The ‘quiet zone’ designation means train engineers will no longer sound a train’s horn when approaching the following street-level crossings, except in the case of an emergency:
· Southbound Dallas Parkway
· Northbound Dallas Parkway
· Frisco Square Boulevard
· Main Street
· All Stars Avenue
“Some of Frisco’s neighborhoods developed around rail lines that have been operating for decades,” said Brian Moen, Assistant Director of Engineering Services/Transportation. “Unless a crossing is designated as a ‘quiet zone,’ federal law requires train engineers to sound the horn 15 to 20 seconds prior to reaching a crossing. The ‘quiet zone’ designation will stop most of the unwanted train noise for these residents.”
The City of Frisco has been working since 2007 with the help of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) to make intersection improvements and upgrades at the railroad crossings that would meet the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Train Horn Rule design and certification requirements. To meet FRA standards, the city had to make sure each crossing had certain supplemental safety measures in place including gates, flashing lights and median barriers.
“Once the quiet zone is in effect, motorists still need to follow the same safety rules they have always followed at railroad crossings,” said Moen. “Trains are approaching these crossings when the gates are down even though the horns can no longer be heard. You should never attempt to go around or under an active railroad gate.”
In addition, warning signs indicating there is no train horn will be installed on January 4 before the ‘quiet zone’ takes effect. Train engineers may still sound the horn to provide warning to animals, vehicle operators, trespassers or crews on other trains in an emergency situation.
During the first few weeks of the quiet zone, it is possible that residents will occasionally hear the train horn sounded at these crossings. It can take time for all of the train engineers to receive information that a quiet zone has been established. If residents continue to hear the horn after the first few weeks, they can notify the City of Frisco Engineering Department at 972-292-5400.