At the request of a local landowner and developer, the Town of Smithfield is exploring the possibility of having a Quiet Zone for trains at the Peedin Street railroad crossing.
Under federal law, trains are required to sound their horns at all public crossings 24 hours a day to alert motorists and pedestrians. If approved, a Quiet Zone would allow trains to pass through an intersection without sounding their horn.
Developer Mike McLamb has asked the Town of Smithfield to petition CSX to study the Peedin Street crossing to see if it could be turned into a Quiet Zone. A minimum of a half-mile distance is required along the tracks, and four quadrant gates and flashing lights at the crossing for drivers and pedestrians.
McLamb said it would be a tremendous asset for the area including nearby motels and hotels.
Only government agencies can request a Quiet Zone. McLamb said he would pay the required $6,000 application fee to CSX if the Town of Smithfield would petition CSX to study the crossing.
Mayor Pro Tem Emery Ashley questioned McLamb about increased safety risks and accidents. McLamb said the federal Department of Transportation and CSX had multiple guidelines that had to be followed.
The council agreed to file the application with CSX to study the Peedin Street crossing for a possible upgrade to a Quiet Zone as long as McLamb pays the $6,000 application fee.
Only two quiet zone crossings exist in North Carolina.