Sullivan: Train quiet zone dies on floor

Councilmen were mum on support of proposal to muzzle trains at the June 4 meeting of the Sullivan Town Council.

Boy Scout Tyler Lewis of Lakeport Road spoke his mind June 4 on the proposed cessation of train whistles in the town.

He doesn't know what people were thinking.

"The area along the railroad tracks the people who built there should have considered the possibilities of the train and the whistle," said Lewis, who was accompanied by mom Lisa. "If people are driving and thinking about something else, the whistle could startle them [back to attention]."

He said that blast might be all that stands between safety and an accident.

"If they had thought about building houses next to the railroad tracks, they should have expected whistles," Lewis said.

White Bridge Road resident Gordon Stansbury said would any accident would almost certainly mean a fatality.

Stansbury said he wrote to the Sullivan Town Council as a resident and as a licensed professional engineer and certified traffic engineer; he read from a prepared statement.

Stansbury spoke of a deep concern about the safety of residents and motorists traveling in the area of the town's railroad crossings. To silence the whistles, he said, "compromises the safety of all."

"It is a second critical line of defense," Stansbury said. "This particular crossing has a long history of malfunctioning gates. Imagine if only one time the gates don't come down and there is a car on the tracks."

Stansbury cited extensive experience in traffic safety consulting for a number of municipalities and said the town's support of a quiet zone would open it up to litigation in the case of an accident.

"I would unequivocally recommend against a quiet zone," Stansbury said.

Stansbury said his family has lived in the area for 60 years and that he and his family enjoy the whistles. He said those who don't like trains passing through the area shouldn't have purchased homes there.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment