With the opening of the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center (ILC) in Winter Haven, an increase in freight rail traffic is expected on the CSX ‘S’ line. The Polk TPO commissioned a study to look at the potential for implementing quiet zones near some of the road/railroad crossings on the ‘S’ line. A quiet zone is an area near a rail crossing(s) where engineers do not use train horns as part of the normal operations. In a quiet zone, other measures are taken to ensure safety at a rail crossing. This allows horns to be used only in the case of an emergency.
The Quiet Zone Assessment evaluated 52 public highway-rail crossings along the ‘S’ line in Polk County. A planning-level noise analysis was conducted to identify the crossings with the highest number of noise-sensitive land uses, e.g., hospitals or residential homes. This analysis was used to identify the best candidate locations for the implementation of quiet zones.