The town of Argyle is looking into quieting down its railroad crossings.
Town Manager Matt Jones said Monday that the Argyle Town Council designated excess funds from the fiscal year budget to evaluate converting its railroad crossings to become quiet zones. Jones said the town would be required to convert all of its five railroad crossings to quiet zones, or none at all, and just to evaluate quiet zones, it has to escrow some money per crossing.
That has been initiated, and the town has engaged with a consultant to conduct the study, Jones said.
The Federal Railroad Administration requires trains to sound their horns multiple times before crossing a road. The horn volume level must be between 96-110 decibels, and in the Argyle area, thousands of homes are well within earshot of the horns. If Argyle were to convert crossings to quiet zones, the trains would only sound their horns in cases of emergency.
Railroad crossings in quiet zones typically require additional safety improvements such as gates with channelization or medians and four-quadrant gates, according to Operation Lifesaver.
It’s estimated that it would cost about $500,000 per crossing to convert them to quiet zones, Jones said, adding that if the town eventually decides to convert its railroad crossings to quiet zones, it doesn’t anticipate any work starting before Hwy 377 is widened in 2021.