- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Federal regulators have denied a request from officials in Fort Collins to set up a quiet zone downtown to stop trains from blaring their horns, saying it’s a safety issue.

The Federal Railroad Administration told the city on Friday it will not grant a waiver of its rule that trains sound horns before crossing public streets. Regulators cited concerns for safety along tracks that run through the downtown area.

Regulators left open the possibility of reviewing the decision if safety requirements can be met. Those options could include installing gates with flashing lights at every crossing.

The city suggested using traffic signals to control traffic in parts of the proposed quiet zone, but Ron Hynes, director of the Railroad Administration’s Office of Technical Oversight, said that did not meet federal regulations.

Dan Weinheimer, policy and project manager for Fort Collins, said the city worked with federal officials to come up with a plan that they thought could work.

As many as nine BNSF Railway freight trains pass through Fort Collins each day, sounding their horns as they approach every intersection along the route, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported (https://tinyurl.com/ht53bt7 ).

Colorado has 14 quiet zones across the state, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

According to federal figures, there are more than 660 established quiet zones across the country.


Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, https://www.coloradoan.com

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