Local

Bellingham to seek quiet zone status in city for train horns

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe engine pushes a train load of coal through Bellingham, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.
A Burlington Northern Santa Fe engine pushes a train load of coal through Bellingham, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. The Bellingham Herald

The city will work to upgrade public railroad crossings in the hopes of creating two quiet zones along Bellingham’s train tracks after City Council gave the go-ahead during its last regular meeting of the year, Monday, Dec. 15.

Council unanimously resolved Mayor Kelli Linville and city staff should try to find the money needed to upgrade public crossings and work with state and federal groups to create two zones where trains will no longer regularly blast their horns, one in Fairhaven and one along the waterfront.

“This is not something that would be done right away,” Linville told council during a meeting earlier in the day. “It is definitely based on the availability of funds.”

The city could seek help at the state and federal level, applying for grants or asking for other funds to help pay for millions of dollars in upgrades needed to get approved as a quiet zone.

Federal regulations require horns be sounded at every at-grade public rail crossing unless that area has been converted to a quiet zone, which meets strict safety requirements.

  Comments