04.07.16

Gardner Urges FRA Administrator to Visit Colorado Regarding Train Horn Noise

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) sent a letter to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Sarah Feinberg urging her to visit Colorado to meet with the local communities impacted by train horn noise throughout the state. 

The letter reads in full:

Dear Administrator Feinberg:

Thank you for the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) recent decision to conduct a retrospective review of train horn regulations. As the FRA conducts this review, I write to ask you to visit Colorado and for the Administration to conduct public meetings in my state in order to hear from communities being impacted by this regulation in its current form. 

Colorado is home to several cities and towns where main line freight railroad infrastructure is integrated as part of the city grid. Many of these communities have numerous public grade crossings which necessitate train horn use. The confluence of these main lines with public grade crossings combined with FRA regulations requiring railroad engineers to sound a train horn for at least 15 seconds has proven to have a negative impact on Front Range communities in my state. 

With this retrospective review under way, we share the goal of developing an effective rule that prioritizes safety while considering the unique circumstances facing cities and towns with rail lines running through their city centers. I believe you visiting Colorado and the FRA conducting a public forum would serve as a great opportunity to hear from these communities directly. 

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your prompt response. 

Background:

  • On March 4, 2016, Gardner announced the FRA is reopening the train horn rule for public comment. The public comment period will last for 120 days before the FRA will make a final decision on whether to change the existing rule. The current train horn rule, which went into effect in 2005, has had significant impacts on communities along Colorado’s Front Range. 
  • Gardner sent a letter to Administrator Feinberg on December 11, 2015 expressing disappointment the agency denied a quiet-zone waiver for Fort Collins and asked the FRA to reopen the train horn rule. 
  • He followed up with a letter on December 18, 2015 asking the Administrator to meet with Front Range communities that have been negatively impacted by this rule. 

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

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