Federal Railroad Administration seeks comments on train horn rules


As reported in the Longmont Times Call, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is seeking public input on its train horn rules that require locomotives to sound their horns when approaching and passing through railroad crossings.

Longmont Times Call:
Federal Railroad Administration seeks comments on train horn rules

Many Niwotians have complained about the increased noise in terms of both frequency of the trains and the higher decibels of each blast. The Niwot based grassroots effort “Silence The Horn” was established last year by local resident Norm Klapper and has been collecting information and contacting local and federal governments to propose changes to the FRA rules.  Please visit the website and leave your comments about the excessive noise pollution caused by these daily cargo trains.

Web: www.silencethehorn.com
Email: silencethehorn@yahoo.com

In addition to the increased noise a main complaint of the new rules is the prohibitive cost required to upgrade railroad crossings to qualify as a “Quiet Zone”. Some estimates quote $250,000 per crossing to install the upgraded barriers and control arms.


Public comments will be taken through July 5, 2016. To send your comments to the FRA, please visit their site and select the “Submit A Formal Comment” link:


  • Four specific issues that the FRA would like commentary on are:
    How can FRA decrease the barriers local communities encounter when establishing a quiet zone?
  • What further actions can FRA take to mitigate train horn noise impacts for local communities while not decreasing safety for
    motorists and pedestrians?
  • How can FRA change how train horns are sounded at grade crossings while not decreasing safety?
  • Should train speed be a factor that is considered when establishing a new quiet zone?

With sufficient public support, “Silence The Horn” is hoping to reduce or even eliminate the excessive train noise through the use of “silent crossings”, reducing the decibel rating of the train horns to previous levels, and / or leaving the blowing of the train horns up to the discretion of the train conductor, in particular at late evening hours when there are no other vehicular traffic present.

Updated: 10 March, 2016 — 5:59 pm