Minot businesses, leaders discuss train “quiet zone” efforts

Minot businesses, leaders discuss train “quiet zone” efforts

MINOT, N.D. – The roar of the train as it cuts through town is something that North Dakotans are all too familiar with.

Back in 2011 Minot city leaders commissioned a study that resulted in “quiet zones” in west Minot.

This month, the City Council gave the green light for a similar one for downtown.

Trains that run on these two downtown Minot railroad crossings don’t have a schedule or limit according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

It’s something that downtown business owners said is a daily disruption.

“It is loud, and if you have events going on you can hear it within inside the building,” said Minot Commission on Aging Executive Director Roger Reich.

Minot council members recently passed an action to conduct a quiet zone study to help reduce noise in the area.

Alderman Mark Jantzer said when this was first done nearly 10 years ago for western Minot, the cost to refit each crossing with new equipment to meet the quiet zone standards ran from $100,000 to $200,000.

“At that time there was a program for implementing quiet zones. We would be looking for some kind of similar state or federal aid to help fund the installation of the quiet zone equipment,” said Jantzer.

Reich said the downtown business association has been in talks with the council to move forward on this for a while, so they are thrilled to see progress.

“I’m glad to see that it is back on kind of the front burner, and it could be possible that we could see that kind of movement going forward,” said Reich.

Jantzer said while the study should be completed by the first quarter of the new year the installation depends on funding.

“Where those dollars would come from is not clear at this point, and so the timeline for implementation is uncertain at this point,” said Jantzer.

Jantzer said the study will help better identify the exact cost of the downtown “quiet zone.”

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