Establishing a Quiet Zone in the
Village of Round Lake
(Eliminate the use of Train Horns)
Beginning as early as 2000, the Village has been reviewing options for silencing the use of train horns at the intersections Cedar Lake Road, Hart Road, and Fairfield Road. Prior to 2005, an ordinance approved by the Board of Trustees was all that was needed to establish the quiet crossing. The Village Board approved an ordinance and subsequently revoked the ordinance due to safety concerns expressed by the public, elected officials and other public safety personnel.
After 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) established a rule for any new quiet zones. The rule established criteria for creating a quiet zone. The criteria included Constant Warning Time train detection circuitry, the method for establishing a “risk index,” and Supplement Safety Measures that could be constructed to determine the associated risk. The Constant Warning Time circuitry and a risk index that does not exceed a certain threshold are requirements to have a quiet zone.
The three intersections within the Village limits have the required circuitry, however, the circuitry was not installed on the crossings located in Round Lake Park on Route 134 and in Long Lake at Main street. The cost to install the circuitry was estimated at $250,000 - $300,000 per crossing in 2008.
To install quiet zones at Cedar Lake Road, Hart Road and Fairfield Road, some type of Supplemental Safety Measure (SSM) would be needed to bring the risk index below that which exists if the trains were sounding their horns. A SSM such as a curbed median strip could be installed for a distance of 100 feet from the crossing to prevent vehicles from going around the gates to obtain the required risk index. Also, consent from the county or state would be required to install any SSM on their roads. The average cost of the systems was estimated at $20,000 per intersection. However, any driveways within 100 feet of the crossing, such as the Metra parking lot entrance, would not be permissible. In addition, each intersection does not have 100 feet between the crossing and the intersection of Route 134. Therefore, this option would require review and approval from the FRA and is not guaranteed. It is also important to note that the Route 134 crossing has a fatal accident recorded on January 20, 2006 which results in an extremely high risk index. Using SSMs to establish a lower risk would require a much greater distance over the length of the tracks through the area in an attempt to reduce the risk number, however, that is not guaranteed and would require approval by the FRA.
The only one option to ensure a quiet zone is to install four-quadrant gates. Installing four quadrant gates would be an option to reduce the risk index at a cost of $300,000 per intersection and $10,000 (estimated) annually for maintenance. Therefore, the total cost to the Village is approximately $900,000 plus annual maintenance costs estimated at $30,000 for three crossings in the Village. Adding Long Lake and Route 134 to ensure that impacts to Village residents would be fully reduced would result in an estimated cost of $1,500,000 plus the annual costs of maintenance of those intersections. Without contributions from both Lake County and Round Lake Park, the annual cost for maintenance is estimated at $50,000.
Contact Information442 N. Cedar Lake Road
Round Lake, IL 60073
Hours: M-F: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm