Engineering Division

Quiet Zone Project

Seminole County Public Works, with assistance through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Railroad Association (FRA), has implemented a new Quiet Zone at each railroad crossings. The Quiet Zone became effective as of May 9th, 2023. The Quiet Zone will eliminate, except during emergency cases, trains sounding their horns as they approach these crossings.

Train Horn Requirements

Typically, on approach to railroad crossings, trains are required to sound their horns to warn motorists and pedestrians that a train is coming. The FRA has very specific requirements as to when, where, how long and how loud a train must sound its horn.

For example, according to FRA requirements, train horns must:

  • Be within 96 and 110 decibels, a sound level equivalent to that of a lawnmower
  • Be sounded at least 15 seconds but no more than 20 seconds before reaching a crossing
  • Be sounded no more than a quarter of a mile from a crossing if the train is traveling faster than 60 mph

However, the FRA’s Quiet Zone rule provides a process/mechanism for communities to obtain relief from the routine sounding of train horns by providing criteria for the establishment of Quiet Zones. Train horns may still be used in the case of an emergency and to comply with other Federal regulations and railroad rules

What is a Quiet Zone?

A Quiet Zone is an FRA exemption to the requirement that trains sound their horn when approaching an at-grade railroad crossings. Before a Quiet Zone can be established, stringent guidelines have to be followed. For example, to establish and maintain safety after eliminating the sounding of horns, communities have to implement federally required and approved safety measures, which may include raised curb traffic separators, improved signage as well as other safety improvements.

train track image

Quiet Zone Map

quiet zone map