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Railroad Quiet Zone

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The City of Tempe, in conjunction with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Union Pacific Railroad and Federal Railroad Administration, established a railroad Quiet Zone in Tempe on Jan. 25, 2012. The Quiet Zone includes the portion of the Union Pacific Railroad north of Broadway Road from city limit to city limit.

A Quiet Zone is a rail corridor at least one-half mile in length with one or more public highway-rail crossings where activation of train horns is prohibited except in certain situations. These exceptions are usually related to safety concerns such as pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists in too close proximity to the tracks. Quiet Zones are established in cities around the country including Chandler, Phoenix and Flagstaff. They allow for less noise pollution while still providing options to maintain safety standards along a rail corridor.

Below are tips for staying safe around trains and tracks. 

  • Stop when signals begin to flash.
  • Do not proceed until the lights stop flashing.
  • Always expect a train. Trains can run on any track, at any time, in either direction.
  • Look both ways before crossing any track and always observe warning signals. 
  • Before you cross, be sure there is room on the other side to completely clear the tracks. Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet on each side.
  • If your vehicle stalls at a crossing, get everyone out and far away immediately, even if you do not see a train.
  • Don’t be tempted to try to beat a train. An approaching train may be closer and traveling faster than it appears.

Any expansion of the Quiet Zone in Central/South Tempe will require a separate process.