Shhhh on the Tracks! First Ward Winter St. Quiet Zone Arrives in 2 Weeks

SHHHH ON THE TRACKS! FIRST WARD WINTER ST. QUIET ZONE ARRIVES IN 2 WEEKS Approvals all in, construction and signage complete, a “quiet zone” for the Union Pacific rail line that runs along Winter St. in the First Ward will go into effect on September 27th, after the end of a 21-day waiting period. Several years in the making, the zone will prohibit freight-train engineers from blasting their horns at grade crossings — unless something or someone is on the tracks in front of them. Not included in the loud-horn ban, reports the Washington Quiet Zone team, responsible for getting the quiet zone on Washington between Sherwin and National streets in place last year: the southernmost track running through the First Ward, which carries about 25 percent of area freight traffic. Adding that track to the new Winter St. zone may take several more years. [Washington Quiet Zone; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Sarah Fleming [license]

16 Comment

  • I don’t understand why they just don’t make all of Harris County a quiet zone… Why is it only for certain neighborhoods and not others?

  • Those of us in Braeswood Place (between Bellaire and Beechnut) thoroughly enjoy our quiet zone. It really has made a difference.

  • From Rence McComb Schluge:

    Because in this stupid city, you have to ask, or they think you don’t care. Even then, the powers that be pretend it can’t be done. Can’t wait to move.

  • It’s expensive to put in place all the different rules that are required by the Railroad authority. Simply don’t have the taxes to make that possible everywhere.

    The railroad authority of course takes the punishment if a mishap happens due to no horn.

  • yep, as usual money and liability are the key issues here

    however, protocols involving safety issues (such as train horns) that have been in place for long periods of time should be very difficult and time consuming to change. that’s a benefit in the long run.

  • I believe there has to be a crossing gate with arms at each crossing to apply for the zone. Many road/rail intersections do not have them, even in the midsts of the city. Even then, the trains can still sound the horn if people are too near or crossing the rail. Blame the idiots who insist on driving around the blinking lights and warning bells.

  • The whiners who built homes or bought homes too near the tracks finally won, yay I guess. Can’t believe this was even an issue, but par for the course along douchington avenue.

  • Those tracks have been there over 100 years, they didn’t just pop up last March. If the train horn bothers you, don’t buy a house close to the railroad tracks. Duh!

  • Or RMB, you exercise your right as a tax payer and home owner and work with your local representatives to come up with a solution that pleases everyone and increases home values in the area.

    A train track shouldn’t mean lower property value.

  • yeah..don’t buy a home near railroad tracks in Houston…Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha oh oh…. oh ha ha ha..ummm…err ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • If the douchington ave people had money in the first place, they would have bought anywhere else. They bought cheap because of the nuisance and then changed the nuisance. Genius money making idea, if you ask me.

  • To be fair, the tracks parallel to Washington get a lot more traffic now than they used to, as a result of railroad company consolidation and the resulting abandonment of some routes. I’ve lived within earshot for decades (albeit a half mile the other side of the Katy Freeway – on a quiet night with a south breeze, particularly in the winter, yeah, it’ll keep you up) and my own perception is that there is a LOT more night time train traffic.

  • Hate those of us idiots who buy homes that we think are priced lower then they will be when we intend to sell them…

    There are some very nice homes in the area in the $400-500k range..
    We’ll see who’s laughing in a few years.

  • I’m half a mile north, and on a cold winter night I sleep even better hearing the familiar bleat of a Union Pacific train going into downtown. I get a huge laugh out of those in their 3 story stucco monstrosities whining about noise when their thoughtless selves bought too close to the railroad tracks, oh wo is me, just over flowing with sympathy for those into conspicuous consumption, cheaply made crap stucco homes, and mid level German luxury cars. Life is hard, cry yourself to sleep…

  • I grew up in First Ward at 1319 Winter street, the trains passed right in front of my front yard. It’s wasn’t so bad never really heard the noise, guess I was just use to it. As a kid the conductors would always throw me peppermint candy when they passed. Those were the good old days at least for me. But I can never go home again.