Lipinski Announces Railroad Quiet Zone will Take Effect Jan. 28 for Riverside, North Riverside, and Berwyn

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) announced that a long-awaited railroad quiet zone will take effect on Jan. 28, preventing trains from sounding their horns at crossings on Canadian National Railway’s Chicago Central & Pacific line in Riverside, North Riverside, and Berwyn.

The quiet zone is the direct result of Congressman Lipinski’s efforts and would not have happened without him. He broke the stalemate that had previously prevented implementation of a quiet zone by working with Canadian National and the three municipalities to develop a plan acceptable to all parties.

“For as long as anyone can remember, the people who live along these tracks have had to put up with blaring train horns at all hours,” Congressman Lipinski said. “Starting later this month, they’ll finally get the relief they’ve been waiting for. I want to thank Canadian National and the leaders of Riverside, North Riverside, and Berwyn for diligently working together over a period of several years to get this project completed and improve the quality of life for local residents.”

The quiet zone will cover nine rail crossings. While the Federal Railroad Administration requires locomotives to sound their horns at public highway-rail grade crossings, communities that meet specific safety criteria can establish quiet zones that ban the use of train horns at crossings except in emergencies. In this case, safety upgrades necessary to establish the zone included reconstructed barrier medians, new signage, and the addition of constant warning time circuitry.

Although the quiet zone takes effect Jan. 28, it is important to note that past experience indicates a brief adjustment period of roughly a week or so may be needed to achieve full compliance by train operators.

“For the neighborhoods along this rail line, this project will bring something that is both simple and irreplaceable: peace and quiet,” Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said. “It was Congressman Lipinski’s determination and ability to bring everyone together that finally made this quiet zone a reality. On behalf of the residents of Berwyn, I want to thank him for all his hard work.”

“My predecessor, former Mayor Richard Scheck, said it best: silence is golden,” North Riverside Mayor Kenneth Krochmal said. “While I’m the one in the mayor’s office today, this was his battle. The credit for this quiet zone belongs to him and to Congressman Lipinski, whose involvement made all the difference. I want to thank Congressman Lipinski for pushing this through. The residents of North Riverside are truly indebted to him.”

“This quiet zone is very important to my residents,” Riverside Mayor Michael Gorman said. “It will yield a much-anticipated benefit to the Riverside residents in the CN corridor and to the entire Village. Since the project was announced by Congressman Lipinski, residents have continually asked me when it will take effect. I am pleased to say: The time has arrived.”

“As someone who grew up less than one hundred yards from railroad tracks, I’m more than familiar with the hassles rail traffic can bring in the form of blocked crossings, noisy idling trains, and horns that wake people in the middle of the night,” Congressman Lipinski added. “That’s why I am so pleased to have made this quiet zone a reality, and that’s why I will continue to work to make sure that the scores of trains that pass through the Third District each day don’t inconvenience or annoy local residents any more than is absolutely unavoidable.”

(January 25, 2010)