Plan to quiet freight trains on track

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Relief may soon be on the way for some sleep-deprived Rockland County homeowners who live next to noisy CSX freight train lines.

Lisa Olson lives along the CSX West Shore line in Blauvelt. "We can't sleep with the windows open because it's so incredibly loud," she says. "It's been a nuisance for quite some time."

The story is the same at 20 other crossings along a 23-mile stretch of railroad tracks. Train operators blow their horns as they pass through railroad crossings almost 50 times a day as a warning to car drivers.

Rockland County, CSX, state and federal railroad officials met Tuesday to begin a survey of all the crossings. Their goal: kill two birds with one stone by making the crossings safer and quiet.

Engineers want to construct a four-gate system at each crossing, instead of the standard two-gate system. Officials say the added gates would allow trains to quietly pass through.

Last month, a CSX train hit a flatbed. In April 2007, a train hit a truck that flipped over, almost crushing the driver. No one was injured in either incident.

The "quiet zone" project, estimated to cost close to $5 million, should begin next year.

For transportation officials discussing the "quiet zones," go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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