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Friday, January 22, 2010

Village of Frankfort, Ill., works to quiet trains

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Frankfort, Ill., trustees this week hired an engineering firm to design safety devices at the village's Canadian National Railway crossings, the Chicago Tribune reports. The $14,000 contract was awarded to Hamilton Consulting Engineers to plan and supervise construction of safety features, such as lights and crossing gates, at the street-level railroad crossings in Frankfort, Trustee Dick Trevarthan said. Six of the crossings are public and one is privately owned.

The safety features are a part of the village's plan to seek a quiet-zone designation that would require trains traveling through the town to silence their whistles, according to Mayor Jim Holland. To qualify as a quiet zone, "We have to make sure the crossings are safe enough," Holland said.

If the plans are approved by federal regulators by mid-April, the project could be completed within the year, he said.

While most homeowners along the CN tracks are looking forward to having a quiet zone, at least one has concerns.

Roger Koenig said train whistles are a safety device too. "The whistle is the last warning you're ever going to get," Koenig said.

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