Railroad 'Quiet Zones' Get an Official Start Date
After more than a year of negotiations, Sussex residents will finally get a good night's rest starting in July.
Sussex's long-awaited "quiet zones" have finally been given a starting date at Tuesday night's Village Board Meeting, with board members officially authorizing the notification letter to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Starting July 19, trains will silence horns when crossing:
- Silver Spring Drive
- Good Hope Road
- Plainview Road
- Main Street
However, according to Village Administrator Jeremy Smith, not every railroad company is bound to Sussex's new rules.
"The improvements are in for the 'quiet zones' to go into effect," Smith said. "That will take place approximately July 19, and that is only for the Canadian National line. The Union Pacific line that runs east-west of the village is still not in the quiet zone due to the extensive costs at the Maple Avenue crossing for that to comply. So it’s just for the Canadian National line which runs north and south."
Smith said residents shouldn't worry, as the Canadian National line has many more areas conductors usually are required to sound a horn, where the Union Pacific line has just two: Maple Avenue and Lisbon Road.
Although the "quiet zone" project has been in the works for more than two years, led by trustee Tim Dietrich, not everyone was in agreement Tuesday night.
Sussex Trustee Jason Wegner strongly opposed silencing trains at the Plainview Road crossing because there aren't any plans to install fences to prevent cars from sneaking past the gates, according to the Sussex Sun.
"It is all ready a dangerous crossing because of the hills and trees... Someone is going to get smoked," Wegner said.
Village officials pointed out that intersection doesn't have those safety fences because the Town of Lisbon owns the right-of-way on part of that intersection, and Sussex couldn't reach an agreement with the town. In addition, trains are still allowed to use horns in the event of an emergency.