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  URGENT - Help Preserve Quiet Zones
July 14, 2013

You may recall that Richmond Pacific Railroad, our local switching short line railroad, paid for half the cost of Quiet Zone improvements at 34th Street, north of Marina Bay. This would eliminate another horn noise source for Marina Bay and other neighborhoods in South Richmond.

Now it turns out that the railroad from Hell, BNSF, is trying to undo the previously approved use of Automated Horn Systems (AHS) – also known as wayside horns -- compliance with the FRA Rules during testing in Commerce City, Colorado. The FRA responded by requiring stricter compliance then before, which would make all AHS inoperable. Including the one recently installed at 34th Street in Richmond CA. (See letter from Quiet Zone Technologies for details).

The City of Richmond has responded (See City of Richmond Letter), and you can too. You can comment or upload your support letter by going to the following link:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FRA-2013-0058. Then next to the line that reads, U.S.DOT/FRA - City of Commerce, CO Waiver Request, hit the “Comment Now” button.  Then you can fill out your contact information and upload your letter without having to mail it in.

The Commerce City is making a waiver request and we can post supporting comments and letter(s). (See email below with instructions and link). THE DEADLINE IS JULY 15.

A cut and paste letter follows:

The Docket Clerk
Office of Chief Counsel
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Mail Stop 10
Washington, D.C. 20590

Re: Support for Petition for Waiver by the City of Commerce City, CO and Railroad Controls LP

Dear Sir/Madam:

The City of Richmond, CA supports the Petition for Waiver by the City of Commerce City, CO and Railroad Controls, LP.  The City of Richmond has recently installed a wayside horn at the 34th Street crossing on the Richmond Pacific Railroad.  The City of Richmond welcomes the community benefit of the wayside horn and desires to implement the system as soon as possible, however, we have been informed of a recent interpretation by the Federal Railroad Administration regarding the requirements of the Wayside Horns indicating that the Wayside Horn shall continue sounding until the lead locomotive reaches the far side of the crossing.

The waiver petition provided by the City of Commerce City, CO and Railroad Controls, LP states that there are limitations with the constant warning time circuitry which makes complying with this interpretation problematic.  We believe the supporting information contained within the waiver petition, the proposed solution and the safety analysis all support an appropriate resolution to this issue.  It further addresses this issue with respect to all existing and future wayside horn systems.  If the Federal Railroad Administration does not accept this waiver it may put an undue financial burden on communities wishing to implement this solution.

Therefore, the City of Richmond, CA wishes to provide its support of the waiver petition and seeks the Federal Railroad Administration acceptance of the waiver petition as filed.

Respectfully submitted,