Zip It, Choo Choo. Moline Considers Train Whistle “Quiet Zones”
If you've ever lived by a train track like me, you know that it can be jarring when trains sound their whistles at 3:14 a.m. as they go right by your place. Moline is considering a way to curtail that.
On Tuesday, Moline City Council decided to hire an engineering firm to figure out what changes would need to be made at 11 train crossings to silence train whistles.
As WQAD reports, the proposed "quiet zone" would stretch from 44th Street in Rock Island to 55th Street in Moline.
Here's a little nugget of information that you may not have known: the 2005 Federal Train Horn Rule requires that train horns be sounded for at least 15 seconds before highway-rail crossings. There's a horn pattern: two long, one short, one long.
So to achieve the quiet zones, there will have to be upgrades made to the 11 rail crossings that fall into the stretch. Each of the crossings already has crossing signals and gates but only 2 gates. The suggestion is making it 4 gates.
The new study will hopefully give the city a better handle on what creating these "quiet zones" will cost. The city of Moline has already set aside $3 million to make it happen.
City Administrator Bob Vitas told WQAD:
The people who have businesses (downtown), obviously, it's advantageous not to have the nuisance whistles. If you're staying in the Element hotel, they're blowing the whistle literally right next to the building, so there can't be peaceful enjoyment in an environment like that. As we look to future development downtown and residential specifically, having a 'Quiet Zone' would make it more attractive too.
Don't get too excited though, Vitas said the "quiet zones" are a year or two away from actually happening.