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Orange sets up 'quiet zone' rail crossings

February 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of Orange established a "quiet zone" at each of its 16 railroad crossings Wednesday.

Safety enhancements were also added to each of the locations.

Train engineers are required by law to sound their horns up to four times when approaching a railroad crossing. An official "quiet zone" designation means an approaching train will only sound a horn if the engineer determines it is necessary for safety reasons, or if traveling through a construction zone.

Improvements to the railroad crossings entailed adding gate arms, improving signage and traffic-signal coordination, updated warning devices and extended, raised street medians.

Work began on the improvements in the city in August 2009 and was completed in January. The city then applied for quiet zone status with the Federal Railroad Administration.

The Orange County Transportation Authority is working for safety improvements at 50 railroad crossings throughout the county, in coordination with Metrolink.