Salem Town Board tells train horn quiet zone advocate “form a committee”

railroad-crossing-sxc-webnificThe Salem Town Board told a resident, interested in establishing a quiet zone in Salem so freight trains passing through on the Canadian National line will not have to blow their horn at every crossing, to form a committee of like-minded residents to work on the subject.

Camp Lake resident Rob Dillion has been before the board before on this topic and has had meetings with town administrator Patrick Casey as well.

At Monday’s regular Town Board meeting,  he repeated his plea for the town to make improvements to the crossings so the horn would not have to be used, at least so frequently.

“I understand the importance of train horns, for safety reasons, but this thing you can hear it in Bristol,” Dillion said.

The obstacle to the town moving forward with a quiet zone is financial, Casey said. Existing crossings from Highway JF to SA would require either medians or four-way gates. Medians would cost about $125,000 per crossing while gates could be $300,000. Complicating the placement of medians in Salem is that the roads are narrow, meaning right of way would likely also have to be obtained to widen the road for the median placement. Some of the crossings are under county jurisdiction.

Dillion’s quest found the most sympathy among board members from Supervisor Dennis Faber, who also lives close to a crossing in Camp Lake. Faber said the number of trains daily has greatly increased in recent years. What used to be a weekly total can now come through in a single day.

“The horns are a lot louder than they used to be,” Faber said. “The railroad changed the game.”

Faber raised as a possibility a system where people who live closer to the tracks pay more for possible improvements, while those farther away pay less.

Town Chairman Diann Tesar held out little chance that the town would take up the quiet zone improvements soon.

“Honestly it doesn’t look good … it comes down to money,” Tesar said.

Tesar suggested Dillion try to form a committee of other like-minded residents to form a plan for tackling the problem, including the financial issue. She said he could then report back at the January meeting.

“Right now the town, we’re not going to do anything with it now,” Tesar said.



One Comment

  1. Horns says:

    There should be a strict policy implemented to stop usage of train horns. i have seen so many youngsters roaming in to streets holding horns and blowing them on old people and pregnant woman. this is insanity.

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