Wadena looks to create rail quiet zone through town
The city of Wadena is hoping to establish a rail quiet zone through town, coinciding with the 2018 Highway 10 reconstruction project. The city's engineering firm Bolton & Menk has been hired to work on a quiet zone study. The purpose of the s...
The city of Wadena is hoping to establish a rail quiet zone through town, coinciding with the 2018 Highway 10 reconstruction project.
The city's engineering firm Bolton & Menk has been hired to work on a quiet zone study.
The purpose of the study is to pick up where the 2013 Wadena Comprehensive Plan Quiet Zone Assessment left off in determining the feasibility of establishing a Federal Railroad Administration compliant railroad quiet zone for the city of Wadena.
"We hope to continue the process that was already started," said Phil Martin, engineer with Bolton & Menk. "With the proper track safety and security in place you can keep the trains from blowing their whistles through town."
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, under the Train Horn Rule, locomotive engineers must begin to sound train horns at least 15 seconds and no more than 20 seconds in advance of all public grade crossings.
If a train is traveling faster than 60 mph, engineers will not sound the horn until it is within a quarter mile of the crossing, even if the advance warning is less than 15 seconds.
There is a "good faith" exception for locations where engineers can't precisely estimate their arrival at a crossing and begin to sound the horn no more than 25 seconds before arriving at the crossing.
Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of two long, one short and one long blasts. The pattern must be repeated or prolonged until the lead locomotive or lead cab car occupies the grade crossing. The rule does not stipulate the durations of long and short blasts.
Establishing a quiet zone requires several safety improvements to mitigate risk caused by the absence of a horn.
Bolton & Menk will update and analyze existing conditions of the rail crossings and develop recommendations for improvements to those crossings.
City councilman Bruce Uselman noted that rail crossings that are in a quiet zone more safety features. such as crossing closures medians and additional signage.
City Administrator Brad swenson said the city has been budgeting money for the last several years for the quiet zone project.