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FRA provides public another two months to comment on interim train-horn rule

Yesterday, the Federal Railroad Administration extended by 60 days the public comment period on an interim final rule governing the use of locomotive horns at grade crossings. Comments now can be submitted until April 19.

The extension will provide interested communities, groups and citizens extra time to review the rule and prepare comments, FRA officials believe.

"We believe it's important to provide communities more time to share with FRA their views about the new train horn rule, which the Administration believes will improve the quality of life for residents throughout the country," said FRA Administrator Allan Rutter in a prepared statement.

Scheduled to take effect Dec. 18, 2004, the rule would enable local governments to establish quiet zones at designated public crossings. Communities and jurisdictions with existing whistle bans will be required to upgrade crossing safety equipment in five to eight years. During that time period, railroads would not be allowed to sound train horns in those communities.

The Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994 requires that locomotive horns be sounded as trains approach and move across public crossings, except under certain conditions.

FRA conducted a public hearing on the rule Feb. 4, but does not plan to schedule another hearing.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/13/2004