The Federal Railroad Administration recently extended the effective date of its proposed train horn rule from Dec. 18 to April 1, 2005, because the rule prompted 1,400 comments and generated "significant interest" from U.S. communities that want to establish quiet zones or maintain whistle bans.
FRA officials had planned to issue a final rule last month, but they need more time to consider all the comments submitted by state, local and railroad representatives, according to a prepared statement. Officials now expect to issue a final rule in January, which would take effect in April.
Issued late last year, the "Interim Final Rule on Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings" would require trains to sound their horns when approaching and moving across public crossings. The rule also would enable communities to establish quiet zones if the municipality installs certain safety measures at affected crossings.
"We are firmly committed to providing communities nationwide with a
fair, flexible and workable rule that will address concerns over noise
created by train horns," said FRA acting Administrator Betty Monro. "We are especially sensitive to the concerns of communities with pre-existing whistle bans that want to maintain the quality of life to which they have become accustomed."