Clinton Considers Train "Quiet Zones" - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Clinton Considers Train "Quiet Zones"

Updated: Dec 1, 2012 08:33 PM CST
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A deadly train accident in Clinton comes at a time when some Clinton residents are hoping to silence train horns.

A Canadian Pacific rail line runs through the length of the city.

Its trains announce their passing with a horn blast at each rail crossing.

Those horns could be silenced, if Clinton makes those crossings safer.

"It's a constant blowing of the horns, which goes on day and night," says former Alderman Michael Kearney.

20 trains per day travel along the tracks right through Clinton. Federal law requires trains sound their horn at each crossing. Letting everyone know when they're coming, no matter what time it is.

"Pretty serious impairment on the quality of life, because you can't sleep at night sometimes, with the horns blowing," says Kearney.

Enough of an impairment that Kearney wants the council to look into the problem. He says, the neighbors just down the highway may have a solution.

"For at least three of four intersections Morrison has what looks like plastic paddles, that extend on either side of the intersection with the tracks."

Those plastic paddles have allowed Morrison to set up quiet zones. A section of rail that's had its rail crossings upgraded, or even closed. Letting the train engineers drive through unannounced.

"Then it wouldn't be required to blow horns which would make it a lot more peaceful, for everyone who lives nearby."

It's not a quick process. The city would need to complete a lot of paperwork and planning to get federal approval. Approval Kearney says is worth looking into.

"Certainly most people like their residence where its relatively quiet."

Burlington and Galesburg also have quiet zones in place.

The cost to develop them varies from city to city.

It depends on how much work is needed to upgrade rail crossings in any proposed quiet zone.