Local officials say more and more people are making noise about the need for a railroad quiet zone in Corinth.

The process derailed when the city pursued it previously in 2013, but the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is getting ready to start again for the Norfolk-Southern line.

“In the last 18 to 24 months is when we’ve been getting more and more discussion, as people are looking to develop properties, about the importance of this,” The Alliance President Clayton Stanley told the board on Tuesday.

It is important to both residents who live near the tracks and commercial prospects, he said.

Community Development Director Lane Yoder said the process is initiated by a letter of intent from the city and a $5,400 fee, which the CARE Foundation plans to reimburse.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, a quiet zone is a section of a rail line at least a half mile in length with one or more consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings at which locomotive horns are not routinely sounded when trains are approaching.

In 2013, the proposal included closing the Madison Street crossing and making two others at Taylor Street and Franklin Street one-way passages.

Alderman Ben Albarracin, who will be the city’s point person in talks with the Norfolk-Southern Railroad, said another benefit will be the ability to create some new downtown parking spaces because of the one-way conversions.

In 2013, the effort met with nostalgia-driven opposition from those who love the sound of the train horn. But Yoder said the Kansas City-Southern Railroad is not part of the proposal, and those sounds will not go away entirely.

In quiet zones, the horns are still sounded in emergency situations and to comply with other railroad or FRA rules. Each crossing within the zone must have active warning devices such as flashing lights and gates.

In 1994, congress required the FRA to issue a federal regulation mandating the sounding of locomotive horns at public highway-rail grade crossings, but it also gave the FRA authority to allow communities to pursue quiet zones.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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