Wood Dale to Receive Relief from Train Noise Thanks to Quiet Zone
Wood Dale residents will soon have one less thing keeping them up at night – the sound of train horns. The City has received official approval for the establishment of a Quiet Zone through the Federal Railroad Administration, which will go into effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 20. A quiet zone is a section of a rail line at least one‐half mile in length that contains one or more consecutive public highway‐rail grade crossings at which locomotive horns are not routinely sounded when trains are approaching the crossings.
The lengthy process for establishing the Quiet Zone within Wood Dale began in 2013, at the direction of City Council, during the development of its strategic plan. City staff worked with DuPage County, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Metra, CP Rail, the Illinois Commerce Commission and ultimately received its final approval from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Wood Dale Public Works staff has completed installation of “No Train Horn” signs at each of the crossings throughout the City to alert motorists of the Quiet Zone. These signs have been temporarily covered until the Zone goes into effect July 20.
In order to create the Quiet Zone additional safety measures were put in place to reduce risk. However, it is still important for motorists to stay cautious. “We want everyone to stay safe. You should still be alert and look both ways before crossing the tracks,” said Police Chief Greg Vesta.
Vesta added that the establishment of the Quiet Zone will not completely eliminate all train horns. “The engineers ultimately have a responsibility to use the horns at their discretion if any safety issues prevent themselves. If they feel there is a vehicle, person or obstruction too close to the tracks, they will use the horns to signal the train’s approach.”
The Quiet Zone will affect crossings in Wood Dale at both Ash Street and the recently redeveloped intersection of Wood Dale and Irving Park roads, which provides a state-of-the-art enhanced capability traffic signaling system that delivers a clearance protocol in all directions for incoming trains – the first of its kind in the State of Illinois. Thanks to nearly $600,000 in grant funding, the City was also able to work with IDOT and Metra to complete upgrades to the Constant Warning Time devices at the Ash Street crossing and dwarf pedestrian crossing signals at the train station.