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Media Relations Contact:
Laurie M. Kunke
City of Irving Public Information Manager

April 6, 2005

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony To Mark Railroad "Quiet Zones" In Irving

Irving residents will no longer hear a familiar sound at four of the city's busiest rail crossings beginning Monday, April 11. The crossings at Britain Road, Nursery Road, Irving Heights Drive and Wildwood Drive have been officially designated as "quiet zones."

To mark the occasion, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, April 11, at the southeast intersection of the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) tracks at Irving Heights Boulevard. The public is invited to attend.

The crossings have been equipped with four-quad gates, which block the entire crossing and prevent vehicles from driving around the gate arms. Federal law will require trains to sound their horns on approach to and when traveling across public highway rail crossings, unless the crossing is located in a quiet zone and approved safety measures are in place.

"We're proud to be one of the first cities in the nation with a plan to become completely quiet zoned at all our major railroad crossings," said Jim Cline, Irving public works and transportation director. "Installation of the four-quadrant system is safer than conventional two-gate crossings, and means the trains will no longer have to blow their whistles as they approach these intersections."

TRE has fitted each crossing with an Exit Gate Management System (EGMS) and Automated Horn System (AHS). The EGMS detects a vehicle stuck on the tracks as a train approaches. If a vehicle is present, one exit gate on each side of the four-quad gate will remain upright, allowing a motorist to exit. The AHS directs a digitally recorded train horn at motorists approaching the crossing to let them know a train is coming; the automated trackside horn will sound only if a failure in the gate system is detected.

A flashing "X" mounted on the signal mast indicates to the engineer of an approaching train that the quad-gate crossing signal system is in good working order and no vehicle is trapped on the tracks. If there is a problem of any kind, the "X" will not be lit. This will alert the engineer, who will then sound the on-train horn in the conventional manner and report the problem to the railroad dispatcher.

The city is working to install the four-quad system at other major railroad crossings in Irving.

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