Miami adds ‘quiet zone’ to FEC line revamp

The revitalization of Miami’s port promises to boost the city’s economy, but some Biscayne Corridor residents were worried it would also bring something a little more unpleasant to their neighborhood: the sound of cargo trains blaring their whistles.

To ease the problem, City of Miami officials are asking the Federal Railroad Administration to approve a ‘quiet zone’ on the Florida East Coast Railway line, exempting trains from blowing their horns at crossings.

The zone would cover the FEC Port Lead line, a 4.4-mile route that stretches from the port of Miami to Northeast 71st Street to be used to carry cargo shipments from the port to the FEC Hialeah Rail Yard and Jacksonville. The first freight trip through the revitalized tracks is expected to take place around mid-2012.

The Federal Railroad Administration needs to approve the city’s application for the quiet zone designation.

To be obtain the designation, the City and Miami-Dade County have funded a $149,933 study, which uses FRA software to evaluate the rail line and crossings to determine if the route is eligible for a quiet zone.

The Capital Improvements and Transportation office of the city of Miami has been tasked with handling the city’s application to the FRA. The department’s director, Albert Sosa, said the city’s study indicated that the line met the FRA’s requirements.

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