A city-wide train quiet zone is going into effect today in Norman, the first in the state.
Norman paid more than a million dollars to bring their 16 crossings in the city up to standard. Trains can still blare their horns in case of an emergency.
“It's a quality of life issue,” Shawn O'Leary, Norman Public Works, said. “What it boils down to is noise. In this case, the train whistle is a quality of life concern, if you will, whether you’re at Sooner Theater or you live in a house near the tracks. We've been dealing with this for over 100 years in the country.”
Oklahoma City residents hope for the same, however, they'll have to wait. OKC has a pending creation of a "Quiet Zone Corridor" located in downtown Oklahoma City. It's a project the city has been working on for more than eight years with BNSF and the Federal Railroad Administration.
Once completed, it will span the BNSF railroad between NE 16th St. on the north and SE 23rd St. on the south. The city invested over $3.8 million in the creation of the quiet zone to eliminate the requirement for trains to sound their horns at all traffic crossings during normal operations.
A final inspection, performed weeks ago, revealed at least four to six weeks of necessary work remains.