Texas A&M University Quiet Zone

Demonstration of a wayside horn

Texas A&M University is working with local agency partners to establish a Quiet Zone encompassing four intersections along the Wellborn Road corridor.

To accommodate the safety and quality of life for the campus and larger community, Texas A&M University is working alongside Union Pacific Railroad (UP), the Cities of Bryan and College Station, and the Texas Department of Transportation to establish a Quiet Zone encompassing four intersections along the Wellborn Road corridor.

To establish the Quiet Zone, Texas A&M University must meet safety improvement requirements set by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) by constructing modifications to reduce train vehicle conflicts resulting in an equal or lower Quiet Zone Risk Index (QZRI). FRA states that the “QZRI is the average risk for all public highway-rail crossings in the Quiet Zone, including the additional risk for absence of train horns and any reduction in risk due to the risk mitigation measures”. As part of our commitment to the safety and improved quality of life throughout the corridor for the entire community, the university is exceeding FRA requirements by adding improvements that further reduce conflicts for pedestrians and cyclists with vehicles and trains.

When the improvements are complete, Texas A&M will submit a notice of establishment (NOE) to FRA to request they approve the Quiet Zone. Once approved, UP will discontinue sounding train horns near these intersections. While the railroad engineer has final authority to activate the train horn, the Quiet Zone should significantly reduce the number of times the train horn is activated. The time it takes to establish the Quiet Zone is extensive, but we believe in the safety and quality-of-life benefits it brings to the communities.

Texas A&M’s project team includes:

  1. SSC Services for Education: managing the project.
  2. Mobility Planning & Engineering: consultant and subject matter Quiet Zone expert.
  3. Kimley-Horn and Associates: design and construction consultant.
  4. Brazos Paving: contractor for project construction.

Below includes the process and the most up-to-date timeline for the project. If you have questions, please contact Quiet Zone Project Manager, Madison Metsker-Galarza (m-metsker-galarza@tamu.edu)

Wayside Horn Demonstration

Transportation Services hosted a demonstration in February 2020 showcasing a lower decibel type of horn that may be used at railroad crossings near campus. Wayside horns are stationary horns that blow focused sound at the direction of oncoming traffic. These would blow in place of train horns, significantly reducing the amount of noise when trains pass through campus.

A wayside horn is demonstrated at the intersection of George Bush Dr. and Wellborn Rd.

Demonstration of a wayside horn

These horns are proposed to be installed at the railroad crossing at George Bush Dr.

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