PRESS RELEASE – January 4, 2022

Mayor McCormick is pleased to announce the implementation of Godfrey’s first “Quiet Zones.”

Locomotive engineers are required to sound train horns in advance of all public grade crossings day or night.  The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), however, recognizes that trains traveling near residential areas can impact those residing in the area.  Therefore, Federal regulations provide a method to eliminate the horns from blowing at road crossings by establishing a “quiet zone.”  To qualify for a quiet zone, specific improvements to each public road and the railroad tracks are required at each crossing.  Every crossing is unique and requires a specific design for improvements that must ensure an established level of safety for both vehicles crossing the railroad and the train traveling the tracks.

The improvements made over the last several years at the Alby St. and Bethany Ln. grade crossings as part of the High-Speed Rail Project have increased the level of safety to a point where the Village has been able to request a Quiet Zone at these crossings.  The quiet zones are expected to be active beginning on January 12, 2022 and should eliminate the routine sounding of train horns 24 hours a day but only at the Alby St and Bethany Ln crossings.

Plans for similar quiet zones at the Tolle Lane and Pearl Steet crossings are developing and have not yet been authorized by the FRA.  Village leaders are hopeful that continued coordination with the railroads operating through the Tolle Ln and Pearl St crossings will allow for those crossings to receive the same quiet zone status in the future.

In preparation for the quiet zones, “No Train Horn” signs will be installed along the tracks and roadways at both the Alby St. and Bethany Ln crossings, advising motorists and pedestrians.  The public is asked to please be patient as the trains may still sound their horns as the new quiet zone information is passed down to the various locomotive engineers for the various companies that operate on the tracks.  Although conductors will no longer be required to sound their horns at these crossings, they may still sound the horns if they perceive an emergency on or near the tracks.  The public is advised to always use designated railroad crossings when traversing tracks and to obey all signs.