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Quiet zone to go into effect in Norman

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NORMAN, Okla. – Beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m., the new quiet zone in Norman, meaning no train whistles, will go into effect.

The BNSF Railway Company and Amtrak will begin observance of the new quiet zone with a gradual decrease of the train horns during the first 24 to 48 hours, after which the train horns will be silenced.

The new quiet zone is expected to help many residents and patrons of businesses located close to the railroad line.

A quiet zone is one or more consecutive at-grade rail-roadway crossings where the sounding of locomotive horns is prohibited under routine conditions.

Norman’s quiet zone includes at-grade crossings at Indian Hills Road, Franklin Road, Tecumseh Road, Rock Creek Road, Lexington Avenue, Acres Street, Gray Street, Main Street, Eufaula Street, Duffy Street, Boyd Street, Brooks Street, Lindsey Street, Constitution Street, Cedar Lane Road and Post Oak Road.

The new zone does not guarantee the horn will never be sounded.

Train horns may be sounded in emergencies or to comply with other railroad or Federal Railway Administration (FRA) rules or at the discretion of the train crews.

Engineers must sound the horn to warn railroad maintenance employees or contractors working on the tracks according to federal regulations.

A quiet zone can be established at rail-roadway crossings if the crossing is deemed safe enough to qualify, or by implementing safety measures that make the crossing safe enough according to qualifications set by the U.S. Department of Transportation risk index.

Safety measures, including median barriers and warning signs, qualified the corridor in Norman for a quiet zone.

The City of Norman realized savings by utilizing city crews for construction of the safety measures, which cost approximately $300,000.