In summer, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WDOT) plans to conduct diagnostic reviews of grade crossings statewide to determine improvements needed to create quiet zones.
This year, state lawmakers appropriated $5 million for crossing improvements in communities most affected by train noise. A study completed in 2009 identified the municipalities (with a population exceeding 100), which each register more than two train crossings daily. The top priorities are Cheyenne (Union Pacific Railroad’s corridor), Gillette, Cheyenne (BSNF Railway Co.’s corridor), Laramie, Torrington, Casper, Sheridan, Newcastle, Evanston, Lusk, Rawlins and Wheatland, according to WDOT.
Crossing improvements under consideration include the installation of directional wayside horns, two-quadrant gates with medians or four-quadrant gate systems.
“Where directional wayside horns are installed, the approach of a train triggers quieter horns directed specifically at traffic on the roads that cross the track,” WDOT officials said in a prepared statement. “Where more elaborate gate systems and median barriers are installed, no horn is required to sound because the gates prevent traffic from crossing the tracks when a train is in the area.”
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