This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The quiet zones proposed for the 900 South railroad line won't be entirely quiet. Union Pacific train engineers won't be allowed to sound piercing horns as the trains cross city streets, but they will continue to sound a bell mounted on the trains. And the bells attached to gates at the crossings will ring.
That surprised Salt Lake City Council members and the mayor's office, which has been working for more than a year on the quiet zones.
"This disturbed me," D.J. Baxter, the mayor's senior aide, told the council. "This rule only limits horns, not other audible devices."
Even so, the council gave unofficial approval Thursday of an ordinance that approves the zones.
The Federal Railroad Administration told the city that bells are used in other existing quiet zones. Baxter said the FRA has not received complaints from residents about the noise.
The ordinance is temporary until the FRA finalizes its quiet zone rule. The quiet zone will likely start this month.
The zone will affect crossings between 700 West and Redwood Road along 900 South.
Councilwoman Nancy Saxton said she was pessimistic about its impact, since horns will continue to sound north and south of the zone. She said, "I really do see this as a token."
-- Heather May