The city of Gardner has been working for some time on improving the at-grade crossing on Moonlight Road and the BNSF tracks just south of U.S. 56 Highway (Main Street).
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, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 27.
There are exceptions to the quiet zone regulations. For safety reasons, train engineers are responsible for sounding horns within the quiet zone when workers are within 25 feet of the tracks or when other hazardous situations are observed, including the presence of persons, animals, or vehicles.
An average of 88 trains travel though the city daily. During the transition to a quiet zone, residents and visitors are
asked to be patient as train engineers adjust to the new exemptions.
The week before the quiet zone goes into effect, city personnel will install required signs labeled “No Train Horn” that inform drivers that trains are not required to sound their horns at this crossing. The signs will be installed east and west of Moonlight Road on U.S. 56 Highway, as well as north and south of the railroad crossing
on 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.
For more information, call the public works department at (913) 856-0914.