HAMBURG, NY — Residents frustrated by loud freight train horns will soon get some relief. The town and two railroad companies are nearing completion of three designated "quiet zones."
Quiet zones allow approaching trains to refrain from blowing their horns near an at-grade crossing if additional safety measures are in place to protect drivers. Those safety features include road dividers to prevent people from driving around lowered railroad gates and signs warning people that they won't hear train horns blowing.
While it looks like the quiet zones on Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview Road are done, they still need additional road dividers and signage. The railroad crossing at Bayview Road is another quiet zone. Paving needs to be completed before dividers can be installed.
Town of Hamburg principle engineer Rick Lardo said the three-year project is likely a few weeks from completion. The contractor had been waiting on permits from Norfolk Southern and CSX so it could continue work on railroad property.
Lardo said they just got the necessary permits last week. Now they are just trying to coordinate crews from both train companies, so they can finish the job. Once they start the final phase, the work is only expected to take about a week.
Even when the work is done, neighbors may hear horns for awhile longer because of a 30-day grace period to adjust to the change.
Conductors will still sound their horns in a quiet zone if people or pets are near the tracks.
Quiet zones were installed on Rogers and Cloverbank Roads several years ago.