WhistleBan Interpretation

Note: As of April 27, 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration has released 49 CFR Parts 222 and 229, Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings; Interim Final Rule.

1. Where can I find this?

Go to www.fra.dot.gov

2. What does this mean?

The Interim Final Rule will not take effect. Changes have been made to it and it has become the Final Rule. The good news is that we are one step closer to not hearing trains blowing in our neighborhoods, interrupting our enjoyment of the quiet.

3. When will the Final Rule take effect?

June 24, 2005. Public Authorities may now provide Quiet Zone related information to the FRA and to other parties. (21844)

4. What are the changes from the Interim Policy?

a) Pending completion of a Chicago Region re-analysis, FRA is excepting existing Chicago Region no whistle crossings from the requirement to sound the train horn. (21851)

b) To qualify as an SSM, tubular devices and channelization devices must now be attached to raised longitudinal channelizers, such as Dura-Curb. (21854)

c) New term: Intermediate Quiet Zones. This refers to pre-existing whistle bans that were in effect on December 18, 2003 but adopted after October 9, 2006.

d) New classification: Partial Quiet Zones. Partial Quiet Zones are areas where the sounding of horns is limited to a portion of the day, as an example, between 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. (21855)

e) Communities are now required to retain their bells at public crossings that have pedestrian traffic. (21848)

f) New definition: Public Authority. Only public entities that are responsible for traffic control and law enforcement. (21848)

g) A sixty (60) day comment period is now required on quiet zone applications. (21848)

h) A risk reduction credit is now allowed for some pre-existing SSMs and for some pre-existing modified SSMs. (21848)

i) New category of ASMs has been added for engineering improvements other than modified SSMs. (21848)

FRA Disclaimer Warning: This is an incomplete guideline and it is only meant to get you started within the basic parameters. *Should any portion of this guideline conflict with the interim final rule, the language of the interim final rule shall govern. Before preparing your actual submittal, you should review Appendix C to Part 222-USE OF LOCOMOTIVE HORNS AT PUBLIC HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSINGS for the complete requirements at www.fra.dot.gov