New ‘Quiet Zone' Silences Trains In Wilson County
by Marcus Washington
LEBANON, Tenn. - One area in Wilson County has said goodbye to the loud horn as trains pass railroad crossings in their area after the sections were deemed to be a "Quiet Zone."
For anyone living near or even crossing a railroad track, the loud sound of an approaching train is a sound you're all too familiar with hearing.
"I got used to the trains; they wouldn't wake me, they wouldn't wake me up," said James Jones.
For 15 years, it's the sound Jones has lived with, because his home boarders this railroad crossing on Horn Springs Road in Lebanon. For the first time, the sound of a horn when the train passes is not there, because this is now considered a quiet zone.
"I won't say it's subtle, but it's much better the rate it's at, oppose to the whistle," said Jones.
Developer Jack Bell has been the moving force behind making two railroad crossings in the area quiet zones.
"As new neighbors want to move in that's all ways one question, how loud is the horn?" said Bell.
He is the developer of both Hamilton Springs and Hamilton Station in Lebanon. In order to make this area a quiet zone, he was responsible for putting safety precautions in place.
"We had fortunately two small crossings. It's not as expensive as say a five lane highway. These were done a little bit under $100,000 total for both of them," said Bell.
Normally putting these safety measures in place can cost six, even seven figures.
"These barriers are put up, so you have the lights going, the flags are down; so it's not like you can do an "s" turn and get around the gates," he said.
This quiet sound is a new sound that folks like James Jones said they are excited to hear.
Bell said the entire process took about six months and because the roads are county and city property, federal approval was not needed.
While Bell was financially responsible for installing the median barriers, the city and county are responsible for maintenance.