Residents are noticing an increase in noise and activity on the train tracks in North Richland Hills as Trinity Metro increases testing of trains and crossing equipment in preparation for the new TEXRail commuter rail service that begins in January. The testing is required by the Federal Railroad Administration to certify the new train service. It is a lengthy, detailed process to ensure all trains and intersection crossings are working properly. Trinity Metro has indicated they will be running a full service schedule to complete the testing process during the two weeks prior to service starting on January 5. If you have questions about the process, please contact Trinity Metro at 817-215-8785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of North Richland Hills has received several questions about the train horns and wants to reassure residents that Quiet Zones are coming to NRH. Until the Quiet Zones are approved, the trains are required by federal law to blow their horns at all crossings. Once the Quiet Zones are approved, you should hear far fewer train horns; however, a train engineer may still sound the horn in emergencies, such as a vehicle or person on the track or workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew, as appropriate.
There are different options available to make a railroad crossing eligible for the Quiet Zone designation. All ten of NRH’s crossings are receiving safety improvements and equipment necessary to qualify them for this designation. In most crossing locations, a median is included, but is not always required. The alternative to a median is to include a “quad gate” design, which means that there are gates across the roadway on both sides of the tracks. With raised medians, the railroad is only required to provide gate arms on one side of the tracks since the median would prevent a driver from crossing into the oncoming lane to avoid the gate.
Both Eden Road and Holiday Lane are receiving the quad gate design with no median. Browning, Rufe Snow, Iron Horse, Mid-Cities, Main Street, and Smithfield will have medians with two gated roadway legs. Finally, Davis and Precinct Line will have both medians and quad gates. Again, all crossings in NRH will be part of the Quiet Zone.
More information about the new TEXRail service can be found at www.nrhtx.com/TEXRail and https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/.