Cost Of Creating A Quiet Zone Has Become Outrageous

The sounds of train horns blaring are considered a nuisance by many people but it is a necessary evil. Train horns are safety measures used to warn pedestrians that the train is coming. It is also used to acknowledge signals coming from other trains. People who are asking how to reduce train horn noise must address the most vulnerable spot in their property which is the windows.

A quiet zone is what Tampa wants but the estimated costs of creating a quiet zone where CSX trains will not blow their horns as they roll through downtown Tampa have more than doubled to $7 million or probably more. Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that the cost is outrageous which the city cannot afford.

The city wants a quiet zone but the railroad which is a private company has made it clear to City Hall that whatever improvements have to made must be paid for at the local level. According to Bob McDonough, Tampa’s top development official, the city does not have leverage over the railroad or do anything without their permission.

Early last year, Tampa officials believed that they had an agreement to pay CSX the amount of $3.2million for the installation of gates and flashing lights on 9 streets with railroad crossings that include Florida Avenue, Doyle Carlton, Ashley drives, Tampa, Franklin, Marion, Morgan, Pierce and Jefferson streets.

By stopping traffic, CSX engineers will be allowed to use the gates to go downtown without the warning blasts of train horns that are required by federal regulations as trains approach un-gated crossings. When there are no gates, CSX engineers have to blow their horns for 15 to 20 seconds before approaching a public crossing day or night. However, the costs of the quiet zone project have increased significantly. Dealing with CSX is very challenging because they make demands on the city.

The reduction of train noise is usually something that cities do not address. For people asking how to reduce train horn noise, their best option is to install double glazed windows that can reduce noise levels by 30 to 40 decibels or more depending on the features of the glass.

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