Duluth is considering establishing quiet zones at several railroad crossings in downtown. (Google Maps)

Duluth considering quiet zones near railroad crossings

At Duluth’s most recent city council work session, City Engineer Margie Pozin presented railroad crossing “quiet zone” (QZ) regulations and explained how one could be initiated in downtown Duluth.

Federal regulation requires that train whistles begin sounding 15 to 20 seconds before entering railroad crossings, no more than one‐quarter mile in advance. A quiet zone is a section of a rail line at least one‐half mile in length where horns are not routinely sounded when trains are approaching the crossing. Train horns may be sounded in emergency situations or to comply with other railroad or FRA rules even within a quiet zone.

Norfolk Southern would support the initiative in Duluth but not participate in the cost unless the city closed off the Brock Road crossing. A QZstudy would cost approximately $40,000. A Quiet Zone would qualify as infrastructure improvements allowiing TAD funding to be used to upgrade two of the three crossings at Highway120 and Brock Road. Duluth’s council agreed the design of the Davenport intersection should include the QZ requirements for future consideration, and to leave the two other intersections as part of the next TAD application.

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