Loud Complaints from Village Officials Make for Railroad Quiet Zones
An agreement that was years in the making has officially stifled the annoying train horns on the south side of town.
Canadian National Railroad has officially completed work on the installation of quiet zones.
The buyout of the old EJ&E Railroad by Canadian National Railroad initially forced an uproar in a community that was accustomed to minimal rail traffic along the tracks on the south side of town. Since the buyout, CN has significantly boosted freight traffic on the tracks.
While the village initially fought the plan tooth and nail, officials ultimately chose to work with the railroad in exchange for improvements along the track. Key to the agreement was the establishment of a designated quiet zone.
Another part of the municiple agreement with CN was a plan to ensure that emergency vehicles could clear the tracks when necessary. Each of the municipalities that rely on Lincolnway Communications Center were provided funds to update 911 call center equipment, allowing it to track train locations. The tracking equipment signals the 911 center and alerts it about which crossing are clear so that emergency responders can be directed that way to avoid delays at the crossing.
Quiet zone equipment installation was the lst on thelist of things to do. Work on the quit zone equipment was completed last week. It impacts neighborhoods within near ear shot of the CN crossings at Gougar Road, Nelson Road, Cedar Road, Spencer Road and Schoolhouse Road, should make
Village Engineer Will Nash, who has been coordinating the project with CN, said designated "quiet zones mean that during normal operations the train engineers do not need to blow their horns."
However, if the engineer feels there is an unsafe condition they can still blow the horns. "Therefore, there may be times when train horns will be blown," he said.
If horns still blowing too frequently, alert the village.
Nash said, "If a train horn is heard we need as much information as possible," but at a minimum the village needs the following:
- When did you hear the horn? (Note the time, date and specific day of the week.)
- What direction was the train traveling?
- Where were you when the horn sounded unnecessarily?
"Any additional information would be helpful," he said. For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Engineering Department at 815-462-6450. "We will track this information and forward it to the Federal Rail Authority which enforces the quiet zone."
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