Railroad Quiet Zone in Columbus hits a roadblock

The proposed “quiet zone” for railroad traffic going through Columbus is at an impasse. Heather Pope, the city’s director of redevelopment, says that the city’s work with a consultant hasn’t been as successful as originally hoped. She explained that the consultant served in an advisory role, trying to guide city officials through the maze of getting a quiet zone established. Pope says the city, as well as the consultant, has done as much as they can.

The proposed quiet zone would allow trains on the Louisville & Indiana Railroad to not have to sound their horns at 11th Street, Eighth Street, Fifth Street and State Road 46. Columbus officials determined last year that it would be in the city’s best interests to try to institute this quiet zone as railroad traffic has increased and is expected to reach as many as 22 trains per day.

Pope says the decision on whether or not to implement the quiet zone restrictions largely belongs to the railroad, as well as state transportation officials. She says that L&I officials have recommended that the city employ the services of CTC, another consultant that the railroad has worked with.

During Monday’s meeting of the redevelopment commission, the body chose to table a measure that would have contracted the services of CTC for up to 18 months at a cost not to exceed $41,721. Members say they want to get a better idea of CTC’s success rate, as well as find out if there are any outstanding expenses that need to be paid to the current consultant.