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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Ohio enacts law allowing cities to create quiet zones, ban train whistles

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft recently signed legislation that will enable municipalities to create quiet zones or institute whistle bans, according to a news item on the Association of American Railroads' Web site.

Taking effect in November, the legislation nullifies a 1953 state law that required trains to blow their horns when approaching a grade crossing.

To create a quiet zone, a city must increase safety around crossings by adding gates, installing lights and grade separating track — improvements that cost between $100,000 and $200,000 per crossing. Funding for crossing upgrades would come from federal, state and local government sources.

Cities likely won't see make any changes for at least a year, said Stu Nicholson, spokesman for the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

On Dec. 18, a Federal Railroad Administration train-horn rule will take effect, enabling local governments to establish quiet zones at designated public crossings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/20/2004