FRA Announces Plan to Review Train Horn Rule

Bennet, Polis Urges Coloradans to Weigh In - Lawmakers Pushed FRA to Re-Open Rule

Washington, D.C. - Following requests by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Representative Jared Polis on behalf of Colorado communities, the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) is announcing it will review its train horn regulations and open it up for public comment. The Colorado lawmakers are encouraging Coloradans, particularly those in communities affected by train horn noise in their economic centers, to offer feedback during the review period. The comment period begins on Monday, March 7, and will remain open for 120 days.

"Train horn noise is a serious concern for Colorado communities that want to ensure public safety and improve their quality of life," Bennet said. "We have continuously advocated for additional flexibility in the train horn rules to help these communities create quiet zones that can help boost economic development in their city centers. We're glad the FRA is finally moving forward with this review. Coloradans should offer their feedback to ensure that the FRA considers changes to the rule that reflect the needs of our communities."

"Time and time again Coloradans have voiced their frustration over excessively loud train horn noise," said Polis. "I'm relieved to hear that the FRA has decided to reopen the train horn rule, and consider fixing a problem that has lasted for far too long. This will benefit communities across Colorado, and is a step-in the right direction to guarantee we find a solution that is both safe and minimally disruptive."

Communities throughout Colorado, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, Commerce City, Arvada, Castle Rock, Westminster, and Windsor, have expressed concerns with the application of the FRA's train horn noise rules.

This announcement follows a request by members of the delegation in December 2015 urging the FRA to reopen the rule and invited Administrator Sarah Feinberg to visit Northern Colorado to meet with the communities and see first-hand how the train horn rule is affecting businesses and residents in the region.

In January 2013, Bennet led efforts urging the FRA to reopen the train horn rule to allow these communities to submit new comments. He also introduced an amendment to a transportation bill that yearthat would require the FRA to work with Colorado communities to examine its train horn rules and consider revisions. Bennet also urged the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the FRA to review the train horn requirements. At his request, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) asked FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo if the agency was willing to work with communities to provide flexibility around train horn regulations. Szabo indicated a willingness to work with Congress to ensure its train-noise and quiet-zone rules protect public safety while also work for Colorado communities.