Rantoul tables study on quiet zone for train horns

Rantoul tables study on quiet zone for train horns

A proposal to conduct a study on whether to make Rantoul a quiet zone in regards to train horns has been placed on the back burner.

Mayor Chuck Smith said he received so many comments from residents opposed to spending the money for a study that he decided to table it — at least temporarily.

"It's not dead," Smith said. "It's just sitting on the shelf. I'm hoping we can present it again to the (village) board and the people in the fall."

While the mayor had several people approach him with train-noise complaints, Smith said it appears that more residents oppose paying Baxter & Woodrum Consulting Engineers $20,000 for a quiet-zone feasibility study.

"I had a lot of requests to get the train noise eliminated," Smith said. But "as soon as the information became public, there was a groundswell of the public opposed to it. More opposed it (than favored it). That gave me a recourse to fall back, regroup, look at this and evaluate the necessity of it."

Some residents have said the train horns blaring is a nuisance, even for those not living close to the tracks. Others say they have gotten used to the noise. At issue is the safety factor and the expense.

A quiet zone is a section of rail line of at least a half-mile 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.

There are seven at-grade rail crossings that would be affected at Rantoul.

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