Quiet zone sought for Klamath Falls railroad crossing

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The City of Klamath Falls is working to strike a balance between safety and noise pollution at the Portland Street railroad crossing.

The rail crossing is a busy one.

Virtually all of the north / south rail traffic on the west coast passes over the crossing at Portland Street in Klamath Falls.

“It’s the only at-grade crossing within the city limit area.”  Explains City Manager’s Assistant Joe Wall.  “And per railroad requirements, you have whistles.”

This isn’t the first time the issue has been raised.

In 2009, the city explored the concept of using wayside horns as a quieter alternative.

NBC5 spoke with neighbor Clif McMillan in March of 2009, McMillan was happy with the wayside horn alternative.  “You don’t get the variation of different decibel horns on different trains, and you don’t get the variation of the attitude of the engineer.”

But, there wasn’t enough support to form a neighborhood tax district to pay the $100,000 cost of installation.

Joe Wall notes the city is now taking another look at establishing a quiet zone, which would involve enhanced safety mechanisms.  “Right now at the Portland Street crossing you have two gate arms – I believe you’d have to have 4, for additional safety measures so cars could not go in and around that train area.”

The city will hold a community meeting Thursday night at 6 at Roosevelt Elementary School to discuss the issue.

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