Editorial: Railroad quiet zone is a welcome additionWe suspect there are some Rosemount residents who are tolerant and perhaps even fond of the noises trains make when they pass through the city. Some people grew up around trains, and for them the sound of a train whistle is more lullaby, less alarm clock.
We suspect there are some Rosemount residents who are tolerant and perhaps even fond of the noises trains make when they pass through the city. Some people grew up around trains, and for them the sound of a train whistle is more lullaby, less alarm clock.
Those people are likely in the minority, though, a handful who lament the implementation of a new railroad quiet zone while many others cheer.
Rosemount mayor Bill Droste has heard many complaints over the years about the racket caused by trains blowing their horns. Those complaints likely increased as development filled in along the railroad tracks. Rosemount residents looking to enjoy a quiet summer night with their windows open would rather not be interrupted by the blare of a train zipping through town.
That’s why the city of Rosemount spent the four years and more than $1 million completing the improvements needed to make the quiet zone possible. Projects have included new medians and new stop arms at some crossings to make it harder for drivers to cross the tracks when a train is coming. The city also paid the railroad for improvements to signal boxes at the crossings.
The process wasn’t exactly smooth. The city thought it was done once before, only to have the railroads refuse to honor the zone and point to federal regulations that had changed since the city started its work. That’s perhaps to be expected when you’re dealing with an organization as old and as entrenched as the railroad.
The city persevered, though, and after a number of delays it was successful.
The quiet zone won’t necessarily mean the complete elimination of train whistles. Engineers will still blow their horns if they see a person or a car on the track. That makes sense. And so long as engineers are judicious in their judgment about what constitutes a horn-worthy emergency, the impact should be minimal.
Ultimately, the result should be quieter days and nights for Rosemount residents. Whether they like it or not.