Quiet Zones



Quiet Zone Workshop

  • September 22, 2015 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Broward MPO Board Room
  • 100 W. Cypress Creek RD. Suite 850 Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33309
  • Open to the public

Update on Train Horns

  • "Good news for eardrums: Despite Gov. Rick Scott's veto of $10 million in state funding for railroad quiet zones, plans to create a reduced-noise corridor along South Florida's eastern tracks from Miami to downtown West Palm Beach will not be affected by the cut." To view the rest of the Sun Sentinel article, click here.
  • In November of 2014, the locomotives for the freight trains running on the Florida East Coast Railway were replaced. Although the new locomotives have louder horns, the Federal Railroad Administration confirmed that they still fall with in the legal limits of 96 - 110 decibels. Please direct your concerns to http://www.fra.dot.gov/app/violationreport.
  • This has not altered the Broward MPO's commitment to fully funding a quiet zone throughout Broward County on the FEC railway. Please read below for more information on our efforts.


Who is creating the Quiet Zone?

  • The Broward MPO has worked with the Palm Beach MPO for over a year to establish a Quiet Zone. In Broward County, the City of Hollywood will be the lead agency on the Quiet Zone application, and will be joined by the seven other municipalities, as well as Broward County, and the Florida Department of Transportation.


What is a Quiet Zone? 

  • Under certain circumstances, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) allows for “Quiet Zones” that are intended to silence train horns in populated areas while still ensuring the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and railway passengers. A Quiet Zone is a section of a rail line at least one-half mile in length that contains one or more consecutive public highway rail grade crossings where locomotive horns are not sounded upon the train’s approach, although train horns may be sounded for emergency situations at the conductor’s discretion. 


Where will a Quiet Zone be established? 

  • Broward County will have one contiguous Quiet Zone along the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad corridor. Within Broward County there are 65 at-grade crossings along the FEC corridor. These crossing are located in eight municipalities: Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach, Hollywood, and Hallandale Beach. (Map)


Why does Broward County need a Quiet Zone?

  • The South Florida region is expecting an increase in the number of passenger and freight trains along the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway corridor. Increased train traffic could mean a significant increase in the frequency of train horns, which has become a concern for residents and business owners along the corridor. Per the FRA's Train Horn Rule: “…locomotive engineers must begin to sound train horns at least 15 seconds, and no more than 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings.” 


How will the Quiet Zone be funded?

  • The Broward MPO had budgeted $4.2M as a local match for Quiet Zone and safety improvements. All Aboard Florida (AAF) is a privately operated express rail service on the Florida East Coast Railway. Thanks to a unique public-private partnership, the Broward MPO has an opportunity to leverage the investment from AAF to install in the Quiet Zone Supplemental Safety Measures (SSM), reducing the overall cost of the project by at least 20%. AAF will be installing the latest in railroad crossing technology along the length of the corridor and will close one at-grade crossing to accommodate the station in Fort Lauderdale. The Broward MPO is able to coordinate the construction of 4 raised medians and 15 four-quadrant gates, in addition to the safety improvements that All Aboard Florida will construct at all at-grade crossings.


When did the Broward MPO start work on the Quiet Zone?

  • Please refer to the timeline below for a detailed account of the Broward MPO's efforts.
    August 2013 First Meeting with FRA.
    November 2013 First workshop with municipalities along the FEC corridor. FDOT presented their initial Quiet Zone diagnostics. 
    March 2014 FEC Corridor Workshop with elected officials along the FEC corridor. The elected officials were informed of the Quiet Zone Process.


    Applied for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant application for $22 million worth of improvements spread over the two counties.

    Second workshop with municipalities along the FEC corridor. Discussed various Quiet Zone funding and construction options.

    August 2014 FRA Quiet Zone Calculator Workshop. Rail expert from FRA presented the different options for creating a Quiet Zone which include installing SSMs on every crossing or targeting the crossings with the highest calculated risk.
    September 2014 Finalized Quiet Zone Process. After working with the 8 municipalities, Broward County, FDOT, FRA and AAF, the Broward MPO resolved to target the intersections with the highest risk.
    April 2015 AAF to begin construction.
    Moving Forward Apply for Quiet Zone designation...
    2017 Quiet Zone established.

Additional Information:

Federal Railroad Administration - Quiet Zones

Federal Railroad Administration - How To Create a Quiet Zone                                       


For more information please contact Paul Calvaresi, Transportation Planner at (954) 876-0037 calvaresip@browardmpo.org.