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Board Policy No. 18 <br />Railroad Crossing Quiet Zones and Wayside Horn Systems <br />Page 1 of 6 <br />Summary <br />This policy addresses accountability and liability for specific areas of quiet zones and wayside <br />horn systems implementation. <br />Background <br />On September 18, 2006, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) implemented its final rule <br />regarding requirements for the sounding of locomotive horns for at-grade public crossings in 49 <br />CFR Part 222 and 229, more commonly known as the Train Horn Rule. <br />49 CFR Part 222 enables a public authority (herein referred to as "City"), defined as public entities <br />responsible for traffic control and law enforcement at public highway-rail grade crossings, but not <br />railroads or train operators, to establish "Quiet Zones." In addition, 49 CFR Part 222 establishes <br />the requirements of Cities or NCTD to implement the use of Wayside Horn Systems at highway- <br />rail grade crossings. The implementation of Quiet Zones and Wayside Horn Systems allow for <br />locomotive horns not to be routinely sounded at public highway-rail grade crossings during normal <br />operations, provided minimum safety requirements and thresholds are met. <br />NCTD is the owner of and maintains the railroad facility and rights-of-way between the <br />Orange/San Diego County boundary and the Del Mar/San Diego City boundary (a portion of the <br />San Diego Subdivision"), and between Oceanside and Escondido ("Escondido Subdivision"). <br />NCTD maintains the railroad facility between the Del Mar/San Diego City boundary and "E" Street <br />in the City of San Diego, pursuant to a joint use agreement. <br />Certain Cities and the County of San Diego have, or may indicate a desire to establish, Quiet <br />Zones or implement the use of Wayside Horn Systems on the rail right-of-way within their <br />boundaries. <br />NCTD desires to cooperate with the Cities who wish to pursue and establish Quiet Zones or use <br />Wayside Horn Systems under the federal regulation so as to encourage improved grade crossing <br />safety and consistency of design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the NCTD system <br />and railroad infrastructure. <br />The federal regulation enhances the safety of grade crossings included within Quiet Zones and <br />establishes a federal standard of care, which preempts state rules and tort law for the purpose of <br />providing immunity to NCTD, the Cities and the rail operators against liability for accidents at Quiet <br />Zone grade crossings, if the supplementary safety measures, required by the federal regulation, <br />Quiet Zones are present. <br />Purpose <br />NCTD adopts a position of support for Cities which seek to develop and fund future Quiet Zone <br />and Wayside Horn projects within their jurisdictions pursuant to 49 CFR Part 222.