Railroad Quiet Zone To Be Lifted

by Gabe Bullard on March 5, 2008

Louisville’s Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods are looking for money to keep trains from sounding their whistles when they pass.

For the last 20 years much of the area has been designated a quiet zone, but the Federal Railroad Administration has changed its standards for such zones. Each crossing in a quiet zone must have gates that completely prevent cars from crossing the tracks. Those neighborhoods have 16 crossings without proper gates. The total cost to install gates would be more than one million dollars.

Tina Ward-Pugh is the councilwoman for those neighborhoods. She says as a result of the new standards, the quiet zone will be done away with in late June, and the whistles will return unless the crossings are upgraded.

“We’re going to have to find some significant money to meet the new quiet zone standards; to put in crossing gates and to put in medians and things in the street to keep people from going through them, or we’re going to have to do some trading off,” says Ward-Pugh.

Tradeoff possibilities include installing new horns that will only sound in certain directions so they don’t disturb homes and businesses that aren’t near crossings. Ward-Pugh will hold a community meeting Thursday night to discuss other alternatives.

About 33 trains pass through the quiet zone crossings every day.

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