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Quiet Zone to begin in February in Oak Lawn, Ill.

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Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) said that a railroad quiet zone eliminating the sounding of train horns except in emergencies is expected to take effect in Oak Lawn, Ill., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Southwest News-Herald reports.

Lipinski said his work
with Metra and the Village of Oak Lawn was key to establishing the quiet zone,
which covers all crossings on the Southwest Service line in the village.

"For the people residing
along the Southwest line, this quiet zone will bring the most welcome sound of
all – the sound of silence," Lipinski said. "From my own experience growing up,
I know the disruptions and inconveniences that come with living near busy train
tracks. That’s why I continue to work with municipalities, Metra and the
railroads to create quiet zones and find other ways to reduce the impact of
trains on neighborhoods."

This is the second time
in recent weeks that Lipinski said he has helped establish a quiet zone in the
Third District. On Jan. 28, a quiet zone took effect on Canadian National
Railway’s Chicago Central & Pacific line in Riverside, North Riverside and
Berwyn. That quiet zone, said the congressman, was the result of Lipinski
working with CN and the three municipalities to develop a plan and work out the
funding needed to implement it.

Documentation needed to
create the Oak Lawn quiet zone was submitted to the Federal Railroad
Administration last week. Provided no unforeseen problems arise, the quiet zone
will take effect on Feb. 17. It is important to note that past experience
indicates a brief adjustment period of roughly a week may be necessary
following that date to achieve full compliance by train operators.

"I would like to thank
Cong. Lipinski along with Metra, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the
Illinois Commerce Commission and the Federal Railroad Administration for
working so hard with village officials to secure our community’s first quiet
zone," Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen said.

"Noise abatement in a
densely populated corridor like Oak Lawn certainly is a long-term enhancement
of our quality of life," Deetjen continued. "The most successful government
programs in America today recognize the need for all levels of government to
cooperate from the federal to the local level. The Oak Lawn quiet zone
exemplifies this principle."

While the Federal
Railroad Administration requires locomotives to sound their horns at public
highway-rail grade crossings, communities that meet specific safety criteria
can establish quiet zones that ban the use of train horns at crossings except
in emergencies.

In this case, safety
upgrades necessary to establish the zone included new signage, the
reconstruction of the barrier median at the Cicero Avenue crossing and the
conversion of the Cook Avenue crossing to a pedestrian-only crossing.

The quiet zone also
includes one crossing in Hometown, Ill.

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