The City of Parkville, Missouri, along with BNSF Railway approved an agreement this week to study a possible quiet zone in downtown at the two crossings on Main Street and East Street.

Approximately 45 trains per day travel through downtown Parkville and over the years the city said merchants, residents and visitors have expressed concerns about the level of train horn noise.

The study will determine if a quiet zone, or wayside horns, can be used, along with appropriate next steps.

Per the agreement, BNSF’s third-party consultant will conduct an on-site diagnostic assessment to examine the crossing types, calculate risks and identify supplemental safety measures that can be implemented to mitigate risk.

Based on the findings of the report, the city could discuss quiet zone infrastructure options as long as they meet Federal Railroad Administration requirements.

In 2020, FOX4 reported on a Parkville resident who started an online petition to “Save Parkville Missouri Train Whistles” in an attempt to stop any discussion of alternatives to silence train whistles in Parkville.

Other residents say the train horn noise is dangerously loud and is causing damage to people’s hearing.

The process for implementing quiet zone infrastructure requires working with a general engineering consultant and local FRA Crossing Manager to comply with all FRA guidelines, and met with FRA, Federal Highway Administration, Missouri Department of Transportation and BNSF staff to discuss the process to establish a quiet zone in downtown Parkville.

“This study is just the first step toward discovering what type of quiet zone, if any, may be applied in Parkville,” Mayor Dean Katerndahl said. “We look forward to going through the process and receiving the report from the railroad.”

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