Columbia considering train quiet zones

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s capital city is considering train quiet zones.

The State newspaper reports Columbia has about two dozen trains each day and they are required to sound their horns for 15 to 20 seconds as they approach each street crossing.

The city is creating an 11-member committee to consider what would be needed to create quiet zones.

The Federal Railroad Administration allows cities to create quiet zones if street crossings meet safety requirements. Assistant city manager Missy Gentry says none of Columbia’s street crossings meet those safety requirements to allow trains to avoid sounding their horns.

A 2003 study estimated it would cost nearly $9 million to install and maintain the needed equipment. Gentry says that cost has likely increased.

Charleston, North Charleston and Spartanburg have train quiet zones.

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