Quiet Zone Lessons Learned

This objective of the paper is to document the more interesting findings, issues and lessons learned which result from assisting various public jurisdictions seeking to implement Quiet Zones under Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations. The Swift Rail Development Act, Public Law 103-440, enacted by Congress on November 4, 1994, requires use of locomotive horns at public grade crossings, but gives the Secretary of Transportation the authority (delegated to the Administrator, FRA) to make reasonable exceptions. The FRA published proposed rulemakings in 2000, 2003 and 2005, each superseding the earlier version, and the last being the Final Rule. In general, a Quiet Zone may be created by meeting certain requirements specified in the Final Rule. The Administrator, FRA, may grant exceptions to the horn-sounding rule where no significant risk is determined, where horn-sounding is impractical, or where supplementary safety measures fully compensate for the absence of the locomotive horn. As a result of studies to determine Quiet Zone feasibility, requirements and costs, the author has found some notable and interesting issues and “lessons” which may benefit others in their consideration of Quiet Zone safety, or grade crossing safety in general. These cover a number of related subjects, including accuracy of the existing FRA crossing inventory, obtaining accident/incident data, collision location experience, the degree of interest of railroad officials in the Quiet Zone process, the importance of an inspection team including the right stakeholders, and other techniques utilized to assist in the evaluation of grade crossing safety in a proposed Quiet Zone.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046322
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-0731
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:19PM