Railroad quiet zone begins by early March in downtown OKC

Monday, February 27, 2017

City of Oklahoma City

The piercing sound of a locomotive’s horn won’t be reverberating in downtown Oklahoma City for much longer.

The Federal Railway Administration has approved a “quiet zone” in downtown Oklahoma City that will allow trains to move through the urban core without sounding a horn at downtown intersections.

The quiet zone takes effect Feb. 28, but it could take about 48 hours before railroad operators’ automated systems are fully updated. Updates should be complete by March 3.

The quiet zone runs for about three miles between SE 23rd Street and NE 16th Street. Within that zone, all railroad intersections with City streets have been rebuilt to include additional safety and traffic control elements that allow locomotives to pass through without sounding horns.

Typically, train operators sound a locomotive’s horn as they approach intersections as an advance audio warning to drivers and pedestrians. Improvements within quiet zones make this unnecessary unless there’s an emergency, like something blocking the railroad tracks.

Eleven intersections were improved to create Oklahoma City’s quiet zone.