Train Horn Noise Update
Train Horn Noise Update
The volume and frequency of train horns has become a quality of life concern for an increasing number of Shawnee residents. The City is aware of the concern and has produced a report as an effort to provide information on the complex challenges of train horns in our community.

To view a copy of the report, please click here.

On January 13, 2015, the City held a public meeting for citizens at Mill Valley High School, which included a presentation from City staff and additional information from a representative of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Further discussion of train horn noise took place at the Council Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 3. To view the presentation given by City staff at that meeting, please click here. To listen to the audio of the meeting from February 3, please click here.

In June 2015 there was a change in the number of train horns sounding in Western Shawnee. When researching information to establish quiet zones in the area, it was discovered that the classification of the 59th Street crossing just east of Woodland was misclassified. In order for the City to apply for State or Federal funding to assist in the costs of quiet zones, all classifications and crossing information needs to be accurate. The correction was made resulting in the crossing being correctly classified from private to public.

On November 23, 2015 the City submitted a Notice of Intent to establish a quiet zone along the Emporia Subdivision line. A Notice of Intent is a document that summarizes to the railroad, the Federal Railway Administration, and the State of Kansas the intentions of the City to implement a quiet zone. This step is necessary so the City can utilize the solutions at each crossing to mutually benefit each other (ex. closing of crossings may help to have less invasive (and less expensive) safety measures installed at another crossing).

55th Street

Similar to the 59th Street railroad crossing, this is the only access point for three properties on the east side of the railroad tracks. The City has purchased 2/3 of those properties and is working with the remaining property owner on a permanent solution.

The City has contracted with a design engineer to create an alternative access point (other than over the railroad tracks) to access these properties. Design is anticipated to be complete in May. Pending a solution with the remaining property owner, the City anticipates taking a plan to close the 55th Street crossing to the Governing Body for approval later this year.

59th Street

The 59th Street railroad crossing, just east of Woodland, was closed by the City in early 2016 and the train horns were silenced by BNSF in April 2016.

73rd Street and 75th Street

The City has made significant progress on crossings located at 7315 Martindale as well as 75th Street.

The City entered into an agreement with the owner for both crossings and BNSF for the 3715 Martindale crossing on November 28, 2016. The crossing at 7315 Martindale will be converted to a public crossing and BNSF will install signals and gates, making the crossing a quiet zone. The crossing at 75th Street will subsequently be closed. The City anticipates this project being completed by the end of 2017. Please see the City's anticipated timeline for action on this project:

DateAction ItemResponsibility
4/19Record Right-of-Way and Trail EasementCity
4/19Update Crossing Inventory for 73rd St to indicate publicCity
4/19Update Insurance Language for new public crossingCity
5/22Council Accept Bid on 73rd StreetCity
MayConfirm amounts that BNSF and KDOT will pay us for closing 75th StreetCity
MayLow Water Crossing Design/PermitsPrivate Property Owner
JuneCity Council Approves 75th Street Crossing Closure AgreementCity
JuneConstruction of low water crossingPrivate Property Owner
JuneConstruction of 73rd Street roadCity
JunePrep for closure of 75th StreetCity
JulyConstruction of 73rd Street Safety Measures - this is the City's anticipated timeline. BNSF has 12-months from 4/18/17 to complete the project.BNSF
AugNotice of Establishment for Quiet Zone - BNSF, KDOT, FRACity
SepThe quiet zone can take effect no earlier than 21 days after the date of the NOE is mailed.City

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact Caitlin Gard, Assistant Public Works Director at (913) 742-6230.