Gardner, Polis Combat Train Noise

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressmen Cory Gardner (CO-04) and Jared Polis (CO-02) are teaming up to battle one of the northern Colorado’s greatest nuisances: train noise.

“For the last eight years, northern Colorado residents have had their business meetings, backyard BBQs and sleep disrupted by the earsplitting sound of train horns blasting every time one travels through town,” Gardner said.  “It is our hope that we can find a way for these local communities to have more control over creating quiet zones and limiting noise pollution.”

“Train horn noise diminishes the quality of life of local residents and negatively impacts economic development in our communities.”  Polis said.  “For eight years, our communities have been forced to live with an unworkable train horn rule that requires trains to sound their horn for up to twenty seconds before entering a railroad-highway crossing. It is time for a solution that prioritizes safety, while also reducing noise pollution. Although the Train Horn Rule allows communities to mitigate train horn noise by establishing new quiet zones, creating such quiet zones is prohibitively expensive for localities. This hearing will give us the opportunity to come up with viable alternatives to creating quiet zones for localities.”

In a letter to the House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials the pair of Congressmen ask for a hearing on the impacts of the train horn rule on communities across the country, and how the rule can be improved.

Excerpt from the letter:

“Sadly, many of the towns affected by these rules have little or no recourse due to the extravagant costs involved with applying for and implementing quiet zones.  Windsor, Colorado, for example, has thirteen intersections in less than a four mile span of railway.  The sound volume requirements, along with the compulsory length of time for the horn to blow, have created an environment that diminishes the quality of life for its approximate 20,000 residents.  The town has asserted that implementing a quiet zone would cost $2.3 million – money which they do not have to spend.

“There is no doubt that the rule must continue to maintain stringent safety standards and accident prevention.  This should be our first priority.  We  also believe the rule can be examined in a way that allows for greater local flexibility to implement the rules while keeping vital safety measures in place”

To read the full letter, click HERE.


Congressman Gardner is a member in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Colorado's 4th Congressional District. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the following Subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations.

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