Train horns can be a nuisance for residents of communities near train tracks, which is why the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) implemented “quiet zones” in 2005. Quiet zones utilize additional safety measures that allow trains to cross intersections without having to sound its loud locomotive horn.
BGE performed a study for potential quiet zones at 12 at-grade crossings of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) over a six-mile stretch of tracks. BGE supervised the analysis of each grade crossing and developed supplemental safety measures. The team analyzed the Quiet Zone Risk Index with FRA’s Quiet Zone Calculator to determine if it was below the risk index with horns. Safety measures, such as crossing closures, gates with medians, and four-quadrant gate systems were analyzed, and a field review of each crossing was coordinated by a diagnostic team composed of representatives from multiple entities.
BGE also performed a traffic circulation study to analyze potential crossing consolidations and the impacts of closing any railroad crossings.