Millions needed to pay for railroad crossing "quiet zones"

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - West Palm Beach City Commission will discuss asking the Florida Department of Transportation for almost $5 million to pay for "quiet zones" at dozens of crossings in the city.

In West Palm Beach alone, there are 39 train crossings in question, and there are dozens more in surrounding municipalities.

As early as 2016, a three-hour express passenger service from Miami to Orlando will be added with 32 daily trains. The horns will blast at each crossing unless they are made into "quiet zones".

Quiet zones don't require trains blow their horns because additional crossing gates and other improvements make the crossings safer, Elliot Cohen, a city spokesperson said. Installing the extra safety measures costs hundreds of thousands of dollars at each crossing.

Cohen said West Palm Beach had more railroad crossings over the Florida East Coast Railway than any city on the proposed All Aboard Florida route.

Several other area municipalities agree the state should pay for the extra safety measures to quiet the trains through crossings.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.