It has been brought to the attention of the Township that there were social media posts regarding the request for a “Quiet Zone” implementation at the new rail line that crosses Lenni Road. Unfortunately, this request cannot be approved and will not be brought to SEPTA by Aston Township as the horns are required by both the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) as well as by SEPTA to sound at crossings.  These horns are not only blown for the safety of those crossing the line by vehicle or foot but also those operating and riding the train.  Trains do not have the ability to stop on a dime and if the warning horns are not heard it could lead to injuries or death.

Under the Train Horn Rule  (49 CFR Part 222), 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.

If a train is traveling faster than 60 mph, engineers will not sound the horn until it is within ¼ mile of the crossing, even if the advance warning is less than 15 seconds.

There is a “good faith” exception for locations where engineers can’t precisely estimate their arrival at a crossing and begin to sound the horn no more than 25 seconds before arriving at the crossing.

Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of 2 long, 1 short and 1 long blasts. The pattern must be repeated or prolonged until the lead locomotive or lead cab car occupies the grade crossing. The rule does not stipulate the durations of long and short blasts.

The maximum volume level for the train horn is 110 decibels which is a new requirement. The minimum sound level remains 96 decibels.

In regards to the requested “quiet zone” that would also require the Township to mitigate the increased risk that would be caused by the absence of the train horn.

The Township does not plan on implementing this and will not change the standards required by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) or SEPTA.  We thank you for your understanding going forward.