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A Canadian Pacific train rumbled through the intersection at Birch Avenue Monday, the only railroad crossing in Alexandria that doesn’t have a gated crossing. It is scheduled to receive one later this year, however, which would be a step in the process of making Alexandria a Railroad Quiet Zone. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

Will Alexandria silence train whistles?

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News Alexandria,Minnesota 56308 http://www.echopress.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/N_Train_123013_0206.jpg?itok=zC7NcWqP
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Will Alexandria silence train whistles?
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Will the lonesome whistle of a train no longer be heard in Alexandria?

The Alexandria City Council is looking into the possibility.

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At its December 23 meeting, the council considered creating a “Railroad Quiet Zone” through Alexandria.

The city was contacted by a resident who was concerned about the loudness and frequency of train horns, according to City Administrator Marty Schultz.

The city’s highway committee discussed the quiet zone idea at its December meeting.

City staff has also talked to CP Rail and found out that the number of trains traveling through the city is expected to double this year.

Another factor is the city’s growth. More residents are living near the railroad tracks and are closer to the horn noises than in the past, Schultz noted.

He told the council that the Federal Railroad Administration has established a procedure for quiet zones.

The first step is to make sure that all public railroad crossings have crossing arms and lights.

Schultz said that all the crossings in the city meet this requirement except for one – the crossing at Birch Avenue, which is scheduled for such a project in 2014.

Once this requirement is met, the average safety risk of a quiet zone is determined and compared with the average nationwide risk at gated crossings.

It’s also possible that the city could ask for a quiet zone that would be effective only at night, Schultz said.

Schultz didn’t ask for any council action at this point. He said he’d continue to look into the issue and report back.

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Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
(320) 763-1236
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