Mark Taylor
[email protected]
Several Gardner residents complained to the city council Oct. 1 about “excessive noise” from train whistles on the west side of town.
“I’m pretty much a prisoner in my own house,” one resident told the council.
Another resident said the noise has caused her “sleep deprivation and anxiety attacks.”
Another person added that the train noise would likely prevent him from getting market value for his home.
Several residents said they believed the intermodal logistics park would further contribute to the noise problem.
Mayor David Drovetta said the city would contact BNSF to discuss horn usage.
The city received a quiet zone designation at Moonlight Road last year.
All trains are currently required to sound their horns at this and all other railroad crossings unless approval is obtained for a quiet zone.
As part of this project, the city and BNSF Railroad have modified the crossing to qualify for approval from the Federal Railroad Administration for the designation of a quiet zone.
This means that trains will not be required to sound their horns when crossing Moonlight Road.
There are still two at-grade railroad crossings located within the city that are not currently designated as quiet zones.
Those crossings are located on the west side of Gardner by the cemetery and near Grand Street, west of Center Street.
Trains are still required to sound their horns at those crossings.
The City plans to perform design modifications and seek approval for a quiet zone designation at those crossings sometime in the future when funding is available.