Quiet Zones pix

Update (March 14, 2018)

The Broward MPO is continuing to monitor the status of the construction of the safety upgrades. As of now, Brightline has begun construction in Palm Beach County, and is working south. We do not have a definitive timeline on when the safety upgrades will be started in Broward County. Broward's quiet zone is one continuous 26 mile segment. Therefore, all of the safety upgrades must be in place and certified before the necessary paperwork can be filed with the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Update (Winter 2018)

The Broward MPO has been working with Brightline, Broward’s municipalities, Broward County, The Florida Department of Transportation, and the Federal Railroad Administration to construct and approve the quiet zone for Broward County. Brightline is implementing partial service (Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach stations) in January 2018. Full service is expected to begin later this year when Brightline completes construction on all of their stations and the railroad corridor upgrades. The Broward MPO is committed to bringing the quiet zone online when Brightline begins full service.

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. 

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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 $4.5M 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 2013First Meeting with FRA.
November 2013First workshop with municipalities along the FEC corridor. FDOT presented their initial Quiet Zone diagnostics.
March 2014FEC Corridor Workshop with elected officials along the FEC corridor. The elected officials were informed of the Quiet Zone Process.
April 2014Applied for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)Grant application for $22 million worth of improvements spread over the two counties.
July 2014Second workshop with municipalities along the FEC corridor. Discussed various Quiet Zone funding and construction options.
August 2014FRA 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 2014Finalized 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 2015AAF to begin construction.
September 2015Quiet Zone Workshop
Moving ForwardApply for Quiet Zone designation
Spring 2018Expected Quiet Zone establishment

For More Information

Please contact Paul Calvaresi at calvaresip@browardmpo.org or (954) 876-0037 to learn more about the Broward MPO and what they are working on in your community.