"We're very pleased to hear that the FRA has approved our project for a quiet zone," Holland said. "We intend to get started with the necessary construction as quickly as possible and get this implemented for our residents."
Both villages are pushing
ahead with efforts to get the quiet zone approval ahead of an expected jump in
the number of freight trains rumbling through town as part of CN's acquisition
of the EJ&E Railroad. Nearly 30 trains are expected to eventually pass
through per day.
The EJ&E rails acquired by CN in 2008 cut through many area communities, including Chicago Heights, Park Forest, New Lenox, Frankfort and Mokena. The move was intended to relieve rail congestion in many Chicago neighborhoods by diverting trains that would have gone into the city to the 198-mile EJ&E route that circles the city.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, of Crete, had submitted a letter to the FRA endorsing the villages' plans.
With the quiet zones in place, trains only would be required to sound their horns in emergency situations. The railroad is supposed to pay for the crossing upgrades, which include new medians to prevent cars from maneuvering around gates.
Frankfort has six crossings from Harlem Avenue to 116th Avenue.