In 1994, the United States Congress passed the Swift Rail Development Act, which directed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to issue a rule requiring all railroads operating in the United States to sound their horns at all grade crossings. The intent was to limit the number of accidents involving trains at grade crossings with Quiet Zones, which local communities had enacted to reduce the noise impact from locomotive horns.
On April 27, 2005 the FRA released 49 CFR Parts 222 and 229 “Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings; Final Rule.” In addition to standardizing Quiet Zones and safety procedures, several measures have been instituted to allow for Quiet Zones where locomotive horns are not sounded, and changes to horn blowing practices have been made to limit the amount of noise for the general public. This paper, presented by Lance Meister of HMMH at Internoise 2006, details the provisions of the final rule.
HMMH was involved in developing the Quiet Zone rule for the federal government, and developed the model used by the FRA to assess noise impact at grade crossings around the country.
We are also highly experienced in modeling noise from horns for freight railroad, transit systems, and mixed-used systems where transit interacts with freight.