Corinth studies railroad quiet zone

Alcorn StockBy Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Corinth officials are considering implementing a quiet zone along the Norfolk Southern Railroad line that operates east-west freight train traffic through the city.

The city board this week approved a plan to request a preliminary assessment by the Federal Railroad Administration that will require no expenditure and no obligation from the city.

“Last week, a couple of us met with William Miller of Norfolk Southern, and it looks like a very doable project,” said Mayor Tommy Irwin.

A quiet zone means trains will no longer routinely sound their horns when approaching roadway-railroad street level crossings.

Corinth has six crossings that would be included in the quiet zone, Irwin said, from North Parkway Street on the east side of the city to the Smithbridge Road crossing to the west.

A second freight line operated by Kansas City Southern Railroad operates a north-south route, but has significantly less impact on businesses and residences in the city, Irwin said.

“Business people really see this as important, as well as the homeowners along that route and people who occupy the residences upstairs in the downtown district,” Irwin said. “We started looking into this three years ago when we came into office, but we thought the cost was astronomical and beyond our reach. Now, it seems as if it can be done at the cost of about $125,000 to $150,000 that we think.”

The Federal Railroad Administration will be contacted right away to begin its assessment.

Actual crossing changes that might be needed in Corinth if a quiet zone is implemented would be crossing arms that extend all the way across both sides of the road that prevent vehicles from driving around them and appropriate signage.

A quiet zone proposal for Tupelo’s 24 railroad crossings was tabled by city leadership earlier this year when a design proposal was projected to cost $138,000 and upgrading all crossings considerably more.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com