Line of train cars in a train yard ready for chemicals transported by rail


For everyone’s safety, locomotive horns enhance safety at highway-rail crossings by warning of approaching trains. The Federal Railroad Administration requires horns be sounded where trains approach public grade crossings. An exception is where a public authority has created a valid “quiet zone” as designated under the FRA’s Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway/Rail Grade Crossings. The rule was published in the Federal Register April 27, 2005, Volume 70, No. 80, beginning on page 21,888 and became effective June 24, 2005. While Norfolk Southern does not endorse quiet zones, it does comply with provisions required in the federal law.

Learn More About the Locomotive Train Rule

Community Requests to Norfolk Southern for Establishment of a New Quiet Zone

In order to engage Norfolk Southern resources, quiet zone administrative handling fees apply. Requesting parties will be provided a Quiet Zone Administrative Agreement that will include an estimated cost of effort for Norfolk Southern personnel (and/or Norfolk Southern consultants) to assist with the railroad coordination needed for your quiet zone.  Norfolk Southern assistance usually includes attending meetings and crossing diagnostics and reviewing minutes and the Notice of Intent and Notice of Establishment.  A deposit payment to Norfolk Southern for the estimated costs to cover these activities will be required prior to Norfolk Southern resources engaging on your project.

In order to start the coordination with Norfolk Southern (NS) required by the Horn Rule, please complete the Norfolk Southern Quiet Zone Project Initiation Form and email it to if your proposed quiet zones includes Norfolk Southern public grade crossings.

 The Quiet Zone Project Initiation Form must be submitted by the public agency responsible for maintenance of the public roads to be included in the proposed quiet zone.

Download the Quiet Zone Initiation Form Here.

Cost of Quiet Zone Safety Measures

Constant warning time with a two-quadrant gate system
$300,000 to $400,000

Four-quadrant gate systems

$300,000 to $500,000+

Basic active warning system
(flashing lights and gates, constant warning time, power out indicator, and bungalow)
$185,000 to $400,000

Basic interconnect
$5,000 to $15,000+

Annual maintenance
$4,000 to $10,000+

Quiet Zone Information Form