City considers whether to keep trains from tooting their horns

By Lindsey Gordon , Erica Quednau |

Published 06/09 2014 05:49PM

Updated 06/11 2014 11:33AM

Update: 10:05 pm, 6/10/14, Tuesday
RANTOUL -- Trains can continue to blow their horns, at least for now. The village board put off making a decision Tuesday night on whether to make the city a quiet zone.

The board was looking to spend $20,000 on a study. In the meantime, the mayor hopes to have public meetings on the issue. The board could look at it again in August.
Original: 5:49 pm, 6/9/14, Monday
RANTOUL -- City leaders are considering getting rid of the noise from train horns. Tuesday, they'll vote whether to do a study. It will research whether the city should be a "quiet zone." It would mean no horns when trains roll through. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau looks at the ramifications of such a move.

City leaders hope to find out if creating a quiet zone would be unsafe. The best solution, of course, would be to reduce the noise and keep crossings safe, but they won't know if that's possible without a study.

For almost 30 years, Kristi Bruns has dealt with the noise.

"There's all different sounds. I mean, they could put the horn on, or they could just be going down the track or they could just kind of set there for awhile and have this muffled sound for a long time."

Her house backs up to the train tracks. But, the worst of those sounds is the horn.

"You don't hear it at night when you're sleeping. I think you just get used to it."

You do hear it if you're trying to enjoy an afternoon on the deck.

"You almost have to stop your conversation because the train is so loud."

"Of the top five complaints, it's probably number three."

"Do they have to blow the horns so often, so long, so many times?"

That's why Mayor Charles Smith is proposing to look at getting rid of the horns and making seven crossings in his city safe crossings.

"What does it take to have a safe crossing without the horns being blown? What type of restrictions? What type of barriers would be placed to protect the public? So that's going to be the primary element that comes out of this."

If the study's approved, it would cost the city $20,000. Some don't think it's worth it.

"It doesn't really bother me that much. I don't think that would be in my top five complaints for the city of Rantoul."

"We're used to it. You get used to it."

But, for people like Kristi, they're excited to see what could happen.

"I would enjoy getting rid of the horns, absolutely!"

If the city were to become a quiet zone, it would mean horns could only be used
in emergency situations.

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