GOOD FOR YOU: Windsor town officials celebrate Quiet Zone designation | MyWindsorNow.com
James Redmond
jredmond@mywindsornow.com

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GOOD FOR YOU: Windsor town officials celebrate Quiet Zone designation

From left, OmniTrax Senior Vice President David Rohal, Federal Railroad Administration Regional Administrator Steven Fender, Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez and Windsor Town Manager Kelly Arnold cut the ribbon on the town’s completed Quiet Zone project Friday. The Federal Railroad Administration requires train operators to sound trains' horns as a warning before each crossing. A Quiet Zone designation stops the use of train horns except in cases of emergency.

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Find out more about Windsor’s Quiet Zone project and see a map of railroad crossings at http://www.windsorgov.com/1032/Railroad-Quiet-Zone.

Windsor and railroad officials Friday afternoon formally cut the ribbon on the town's completed Quiet Zone project.

"This project has increased the quality of life for residents of Windsor," Mayor Kristie Melendez said.

Melendez, Windsor Town Manager Kelly Arnold, Federal Railroad Administration Regional Administrator Steven Fender and OmniTrax Senior Vice President David Rohal each gave a short speech before a small crowd gathered at near the railroad crossing at the north end of 5th Street next to Boardwalk Park

On Dec. 27, Windsor's Quiet Zone certification took effect, preventing train operators from blowing trains' horns except in emergency situations.

Work toward a Quiet Zone designation started almost 10 years ago when residents started asking Windsor officials for a solution to the sound of train horns, Melendez said.

In order to create safe and quiet crossings, local officials have to step up and take the lead, Rohal said.

Windsor officials did that and, with the help of a $3.3 million TIGER V federal grant, started the process of creating a Quiet Zone in Windsor.

The Federal Railroad Administration requires train operators to sound trains' horns as a warning before each crossing. With 14 crossings in town, the noise of train horns became infamous in Windsor.

A Quiet Zone designation stops the use of train horns except in cases of emergency.

To achieve a Quiet Zone designation, the town worked through an extensive certification process that included safety upgrades at 13 of the 14 total crossings as an alternative to the train horn safety warnings.

Quiet zone standards require safety measures to ensure drives don't try to cross the tracks when a train is about go through. At most Windsor crossings, that meant adding more gates or medians to stop drivers from using the oncoming traffic lane to dodge the gates and dart across the tracks before the train.

With the Quiet Zone in place babies will sleep through the night and happy, well-rested parents will drive to work across safe and quiet railroad crossings, Arnold said.