Perlmutter Statement on Federal Railroad Administrator’s Visit to Discuss Train Noise

At Delegation’s Urging, Administrator Feinberg Met with Community Leaders and Viewed Challenges First-Hand

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Lakewood, Colo., June 17, 2016 | comments

Lakewood, Colo. – U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) today released a statement regarding Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Sarah Feinberg’s visit to Colorado to discuss the agency’s train horn rule and the need for more flexibility to establish quiet zones.

“I’m glad Administrator Feinberg came to Colorado to listen to the problems Colorado communities have been dealing with for years and committing to work with us to improve the train horn rule. I look forward to the GAO study, which I successfully included in the FAST Act last year, getting underway in the coming weeks. The study will provide additional insight on how train horn requirements can be modernized to encourage safety enhancements at railway crossings while reducing train horn noise impacting families and businesses across Colorado.”

Communities throughout Colorado, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, Commerce City, Arvada, Castle Rock, Westminster, and Windsor, among others, have expressed concerns with the application of the FRA’s train horn noise rules. Since January 2013, the delegation has urged the FRA to reopen the rule and consider revisions to offer communities more flexibility to create quiet zones.

In April, Reps. Perlmutter, Polis, Buck and Senator Bennet sent a letter to the FRA reiterating the necessity for more consistent and flexible requirements for train horn Quiet Zones across communities in Colorado.

In March, the FRA announced it would take public comments as it considers potential changes. The comment period closes on July 5, 2016. This announcement follows a request by members of the delegation in December 2015 urging the FRA to reopen the rule and inviting Administrator Sarah Feinberg to visit Northern Colorado to meet with the communities and see first-hand how the train horn rule is affecting businesses and residents in the region. Comments from the meeting with the FRA will be submitted as part of the public comment. Colorado communities not able to attend the meeting with the FRA will have until July 5 to submit comments on changes they would like FRA to consider.

In addition, last November, Perlmutter successfully authored and passed an amendment to evaluate the effectiveness of the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) 2005 rule on the use of locomotive horns at rail crossings. The amendment requires a Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the train horn rule in order to find a balance between public safety and providing communities flexibility to establish Quiet Zones. The proposed GAO report is scheduled to get underway in the next month and will help Congress better analyze the effectiveness of the Train Horn Rule and work with FRA to improve the ability for cities to continue investing in railway crossing safety and improve our communities.

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