Kent hosting railroad horn demonstration Thursday, Aug. 18
August 18, 2011 · Updated 12:27 PM
The city of Kent will host a railroad wayside horn demonstration 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at Titus Railroad Park (northeast corner of 1st Avenue South and West Titus Street). Downtown businesses, residents and the general public are invited to learn more about railroad quiet zones and hear the wayside horn demonstration.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about quiet zones,” said Public Works Director Tim LaPorte. “They’re a bit of a misnomer because a wayside horn will sound. Attendees will learn how wayside horns work and how they differ from typical train horns.”
The wayside horn will be cycled multiple times to allow attendees to hear the sound from different vantage points close to the horn installation, then repeated approximately one hour later, to allow attendees to return to their homes, businesses, or other locations further from the grade crossing to experience the sound levels further from the grade crossing.
The wayside horn will then be relocated to the east side of the tracks and the demonstration repeated.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) adopted regulations in 2005 regarding the specific requirements for sounding a train horn at a crossing. Trains are now required to blast their horns in a two long, one short, and one long sequence when approaching a crossing. This must begin as a train approaches a crossing and continue until the train has physically entered and taken control of the crossing area.
In areas with a short distance between crossings, such as those between James and Willis Streets, this can result in prolonged train horns. In an attempt to minimize the negative impacts of this rule, the FRA set out the regulatory procedures and technical requirements necessary to implement a quiet zone. A quiet zone is formally defined as at least one half-mile of railroad line with one or more consecutive public crossings where train horns are restricted.
Attendees will be invited to share their observations with the city for review by council members.