Little Canada to present rail quiet zone study results

Little Canada might be a little quieter soon—and that’s a good thing, according to city officials and residents plagued by the sound of train whistles at all hours of the day.

On May 14, city council members will discuss the results of a study compiled by SEH Consulting regarding the establishment of a rail quiet zone through Little Canada. A statement from the city says it has received “a significant number” of calls from residents expressing concerns about the whistles, length of the trains, contents of what’s being hauled and the safety of the cars.

As trains approach road intersections, conductors are required to sound the horn to warn motorists. Quiet zones can be full—no horns at all—or partial, meaning no whistles between midnight and 7 a.m.

There are currently six at-grade road-rail intersections within Little Canada. If the council decides to pursue a quiet zone through the city, it will need to install double-gated cross arms at the intersections to meet safety requirements, according to a statement from the city. Those gates could cost between $200,000 and $250,000 per crossing. Only one of the six crossings is currently gated.

Several other options will be presented as well, including creating medians to prevent vehicles from going around the gates.

The council requested the study in November 2013 at a cost of $10,000.

The presentation of the study results will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, at Little Canada City Center, located at 515 Little Canada Road E. For more information, visit www.ci.little-canada.mn.us.

— Johanna Holub

 

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