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Train horns to go silent in Fargo-Moorhead quiet zone on Monday

Some Fargo-Moorhead residents may hear sounds they never imagined come Monday, when the long-discussed railroad quiet zone goes live. On that day, the dozens of trains that chug through town will go silent, ending the blaring of horns that have disturbed locals for decades.

The quiet zone extends from 14th Street in Moorhead to Eighth Street in Fargo along the south tracks, and from 14th Street in Moorhead to Seventh Street in Fargo along the north tracks.

The quiet zone covers about two miles along each set of tracks. In total, it will cover 12 crossings in Moorhead and eight in Fargo.

In accordance with Federal Railroad Administration rules, train horns may sound if imminent danger exists, automatic warning devices malfunction, roadway and railway workers are in the vicinity of the tracks, or safe railroad operating rules trigger a train horn sounding.

A transition period is anticipated while railroad crews adjust to the new requirement. It is likely that horns may occasionally sound while this transition occurs, according to Bob Zimmerman, Moorhead city engineer.

The quiet zone project was first introduced in 2003. Construction on the project began in May 2006 in Fargo, and a month later in Moorhead.