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New ‘quiet zone’ proposed to limit train noise within Cloquet

This railroad crossing on Broadway Street is one of the five crossings in Cloquet proposed to be outfitted with crossing arms. This extra protection would allow “quiet zones” to be imposed upon trains within a quarter mile from the crossings. Dylan Marvel/Pine Journal

The Cloquet Planning Commission heard a proposal for a new “quiet zone” for railroad crossings within city limits at Tuesday night’s meeting.

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The quiet zone would limit trains from blowing whistles within a quarter mile on either side of each crossing.

Cloquet resident Peter Radosevich suggested the idea after noticing “how disruptive and loud the train whistles are at the multiple crossings along the river.”

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), trains are required to blast two long, one short, and one long-sounding horn before entering each crossing. With four whistles per crossing and five crossings throughout Cloquet, twenty soundings is a lot of noise.

To impose the new quiet zone, railroad crossings must be equipped with crossing arms or gates to effectively warn and protect crossing traffic. To update the crossings, the city estimates costs of roughly $750,000.

“I am willing to work on a project to find out how feasible it may be to set up some ‘quiet zones’ along the train corridor in Cloquet,” said Radosevich. After receiving its first formal complaint about the noise, the Planning Commission members stated they are also willing to look into it further.

The Commission chose to review the issue in future meetings after more information about the project can be assembled.