Round Rock approves quiet zones for train traffic

Railroad crossing in Round Rock (KXAN Photo)
Railroad crossing in Round Rock (KXAN Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock City Council has approved plans to keep trains quiet as they pass through two populated parts of town.

To keep trains from blowing their horns, the city will install more signal arms along Burnet Street and Saint Williams Street. Residents who live along the streets tell us they’re glad it will mean no more unwanted 2 a.m. wake-up calls as trains pass by.

After the quiet zones are installed, train engineers can still blow their horn if they believe it is necessary. In order to become a quiet zone, the city of Round Rock must first upgrade these crossings to make them even safer. The crossing at North Burnet Street is one of their first priorities.

Right now, a train has to sound its horn when it passes a railroad crossing to let people know it’s moving through. In order to get rid of that noise, the city will spend $1.6 million.

Instead of two arms, there would be four, so cars couldn’t go around, and the red flashing lights would trigger even sooner, before the train approaches the crossing. Some neighbors who live right behind the tracks are looking forward to a quieter lifestyle.

Union Pacific says sounding the train horn is still the most effective safety measure. In fact, they prefer it.

In August, a rollover crash at Oak Ridge and McNeil road left a car on the train tracks. Less than two minutes after getting everyone out, a train crashed into an SUV. A viewer caught video of the Aug. 29 incident:

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