For many years, the City of Vancouver has responded to citizen concerns about train horn noise. The City has worked with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) to investigate the feasibility of forming Train Horn Quiet Zones. A ‘quiet zone’ is a railroad grade crossing at which trains are prohibited from sounding their horns in order to decrease the noise level for nearby residential communities. This is aimed at the routine horn blasts that are required by FRA at public crossings. The train horns can be silenced only when other safety measures compensate for the absence of the horns.
Three areas have been identified for possible quiet zone improvements.
Click on the video below to view the inauguration of the East Vancouver Train Horn Quiet Zone:
Typically, the city does not have adequate funding for implementation of such quiet zones. As a result, the city has concentrated on working with citizens to identify and develop fair methods to share the cost among those who would benefit from a quiet zone. One such method is a Local Improvement District. Learn more about what a Local Improvement District is, what it is not and how it works here. Additional information about train horn quiet zones can also be found through the web links on the left.
Federal Railroad Administration
Region 8 Grade Crossing Manager
Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Manager of Public Projects
Quiet zone information/implementation
Burlington Northern Sante Fe - Vancouver Division
Steven Matzdorff, Terminal Manager
Local train concerns/complaints
City of Vancouver
Public Works Director
Daniel S. Swensen, P.E.
Engineering & Construction Services Manager
Assistant City Attorney III