The Town of Timnath has no control over the trains passing through Timnath. The trains are governed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and, although local communities including Fort Collins, Windsor and Timnath have tried to impart on the FRA the impacts of the trains on our residents, we have had no success. Additional questions and FAQ’s are below:
FAQ’s: Why are the trains so loud when crossing through Timnath?
We’ve been hearing several questions over the past few weeks about the trains that run through Town and the regulations they have to follow. One of the most common questions we receive is about the train horns that are sounded as they cross our streets.
Railroads are governed by the Federal Railroad Administration. This means that they don’t have to follow the same Town ordinances (such as noise control ordinances) that or residents or someone when traveling on our streets would. Currently, train horns are sounded at crossings according to the regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Train Horn Rule. Under this rule, locomotive engineers must begin to sound train horns at least 15 seconds, and no more than 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings.
Railroad whistles are especially necessary for safety in intersections that have a stop sign and no physical gate. While noisy, this helps keep our residents safe. Crossings that have gates, like Harmony, are not automatically a quiet zone. Gates & other safety measures are required in order to request a crossing be a quiet crossing. It is, up to the discretion of the particular engineer whether to sound their horn.
At a quiet zone crossing, Summerfields Parkway for example, measures have been put into place that allows for a train to cross without sounding their horn. However, sounding the horn is not prohibited. If the engineer sees a safety concern (arms didn’t lower, pedestrians near track, etc), they have full authorization to sound the horn as they feel is required – it just doesn’t have to be every time and for the full duration/decibel level as dictated by the FRA for a non-quiet zone crossing.
Three Bell Railroad Gate or Quiet Zone Project
Because of the growth of our Town, one of the priority projects has been the installation of railroad gates. Currently, the Town will be installing gates and a quiet zone crossing at Three Bell. The Town is waiting on the construction and maintenance agreement from the railroad. Once the agreement is executed, we will schedule this work.