Quiet Zone Evaluations


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What is a Quiet Zone Evaluation?

A Quiet Zone Evaluation is basically a planning document. It is a tool that provides communities with the basic planning information they need to decide their next course of action related to the development of a quiet zone.  Our goal is to enable your community to make the most informed decision possible. The Quiet Zone Evaluation will include:

  • Field review of the existing crossings within the proposed Quiet Zone corridor and the grade crossing warning devices
  • Determination of the appropriate Quiet Zone treatments for each grade crossing
  • Budgetary cost estimates for each treatment
  • Indentify most cost effective treatments for each crossing
  • Outline of the process required to create a Quiet Zone
  • Report summarizing the findings
What is the cost?

Quiet Zone Evaluations are a service that we offer communities. As projects vary in complexity, please contact us directly for pricing. We also offer our services to consulting and engineering firms working on quiet zone studies. We are Leading the Way in Quiet Zone Solutions. Our quiet zone experts are here to assist you and your community in every step of the process.

We have helped communities to eliminate train horn noise since 2003, conducted over 40 Quiet Zone Evaluations and over a dozen Quiet Zone Implementations across the country. We have given presentations on quiet zones and appropriate treatments at National and Regional Grade Crossing Safety Conferences across the United States. Contact us and let's get started today!

Scope of Quiet Zone Evaluation Services

Quiet Zone Evaluation:

Quiet Zone Technologies (QZT) will conduct an evaluation to determine Quiet Zone improvements to be made in order to establish a quiet zone. The evaluation will be based on the criteria for the establishment of quiet zones as outlined in the Final Rule on Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings.

The focus of the evaluation will be to determine which supplemental safety measures can be used to fully compensate for the absence of the train horn and reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index (QZRI) below the National Significant Risk Threshold (NSRT) and/or the Risk Index with Horns (RIWH).  The engineering improvements to be considered, as identified in the Final Rule, include the following:

  • Temporary closure used with a nighttime-only zone
  • Four quadrant gates with or without vehicle detection
  • Median/Channelization arrangements at least 60/100 feet in length on each side
  • One-way street with a gate across the roadway
  • Permanent crossing closure
  • Wayside horns
Scope of Services

A site visit will be conducted along the corridor to identify feasible quiet zone alternatives at each crossing location. Upon completion of the site visit, QZT will prepare a draft report, which will document the findings of the evaluation including a rough estimated cost for each alternative.  The draft report will be submitted to the Public Authority for review and comment.  QZT will incorporate the comments received from the Public Authority into a final report.  The final report will identify the recommended improvements at each crossing to establish a quiet zone along the railroad corridor

Crossing Data

QZT will obtain the Federal Railroad Administration Grade Crossing Inventory Forms and cross reference the data with the operating railroad to make sure all information is accurate.

Site Visit

QZT will conduct a site visit of the crossings to document the layout, take pictures of the roadway approaches and rail approaches to the crossing.  Measurements of the roadway width and distance to any commercial driveways or parallel roadways will be noted.

Draft Report

QZT will write a draft report that will provide an overview of the current rail operations, catalog the current warning devices and provide a description of all treatments considered.  A list of the most cost effective treatments for each crossing will be identified and a detailed step by step list of the processes to create a Quiet Zone will be listed.  If the current data in the Federal Railroad Administration Grade Crossing Inventory is up to date the Quiet Zone Risk Index (QZRI) and Risk Index With Horns (RIWH) for the proposed Quiet Zone will be provided.  Upon completion of the draft report QZT will submit a copy to the Public Authority for review and comment.

Final Report

Once any comments from the Public Authority are received QZT will incorporate them into the final report.

Optional Wayside Horn Demonstration

QZT will conduct a demonstration of a Wayside Horn at one or more highway-rail grade crossings to be determined by the Public Authority.

Decibel meters will be used to determine the difference in noise levels between the train horns and the Wayside Horn at various areas surrounding the crossing.  The Public Authority will be responsible for providing either a lift truck or backhoe for the purpose of elevating the Wayside Horn to an appropriate height to approximate field conditions.

Quiet Zone Evaluation Schedule

We anticipate the completion of the final Evaluation report in approximately 90 days. A review period of 3 weeks is assumed for the Public Authority to review the alternatives screening and draft report submittals.