Waiting too long to cross the tracks? The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently announced it has established a new, dedicated webpage for the public and law enforcement to report blocked highway-rail grade crossings: www.fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings. The site requests specific information from users including date, time, location, and duration, and expects it will take an average of three minutes for users to complete the report. FRA will use the information collected to gain a more complete picture of where, when, and for how long such obstructions occur at the nation’s approximately 130,000 public grade crossings, and what impacts result. FRA will share the information with stakeholders, using it to help facilitate local solutions to blocked crossing issues.
Quiet Zone Updates and More
Only local governments or public agencies may establish a quiet zone, which must be at least 1⁄2 mile in length, and have at least one public highway-rail grade crossing. Every public grade crossing in a quiet zone must be equipped at a minimum with standard or conventional automatic warning devices (i.e. flashing lights and gates). Communities have the option to establish partial quiet zones restricting locomotive horn sounding during overnight hours between10:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M.