The Township of Montclair, New Jersey, retained SRF to develop and submit a Quiet Zone Detailed Plan that would continue its existing Pre-Rule Quiet Zone. A Pre-Rule Quiet Zone is one that was in existence prior to the issuance of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) 2005 Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns. The Final Rule required all Pre-Rule Quiet Zones to submit a Detailed Plan no later than June 24, 2008, in order to retain their quiet zone status. The Detailed Plan identifies the crossing improvements that will be implemented in order for a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone to comply with current FRA quiet zone requirements. In addition, the Montclair Detailed Plan provided the documentation necessary to convert from a partial (night-time only) quiet zone to a 24-hour quiet zone.
The Montclair Quiet Zone includes 12 at-grade crossings along the New Jersey Transit/Norfolk Southern rail line. This quiet zone is unique because, in addition to occasional freight train traffic, New Jersey Transit operates commuter trains on the line seven days a week throughout the day and evenings. In addition to the FRA Detailed Plan process, there were also additional quiet zone requirements set forth by both the New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Transit.
SRF led all coordination efforts between New Jersey Transit, FRA, New Jersey DOT, and the Township in order to develop a recommended crossing improvement scenario and a Detailed Plan agreed upon by all agencies involved. The Detailed Plan recommendation included crossing treatments at eight of the 12 crossings with a combination of medians, 4-quadrant gates, and closures. Under this configuration, the risk levels would be sufficiently lowered to meet the FRA Quiet Zone requirements.
SRF facilitated on-site diagnostic and fieldwork, led project coordination meetings with state and federal agencies, developed crossing improvement alternatives, performed risk-level calculations, and completed and submitted the detailed plan to the FRA.