Engineering Division

Quiet Zone Project

Quiet Zones Project

Seminole County Public Works has submitted an application to the Federal Railroad Association (FRA) for Quiet Zones at roadway-rail grade crossings in the County. The Quiet Zones will reduce or eliminate train sounding their horns as trains approach these crossings.

Train Horn Requirements

Typically, on approach to rail 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 roadway-rail 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.

alt text

Seminole County Quiet Zone Project Status

  • Safety measure updates and improvements were completed at all road crossing within proposed Quiet Zone (see map below).
  • An application was submitted to the FRA and is pending review and approval.
  • Once approved, law enforcement agencies in Seminole County, cities with Railroad crossings within area of Quiet Zone, Sun-rail, Amtrak, FDOT and other users of the rail crossings will be sent a notice of establishment (NOE) letter.
  • The Quiet Zone will be implemented no earlier than sixty days after the NOE has been sent to each parties.

Quiet Zone Map

alt text

How Can We Serve You?

Contact Us