One of the questions about Hamburg’s “quiet zones” at two railroad crossings was how they would withstand a rugged winter and snowplows.
And the answer, after 8 feet of snow fell in the town last month, is encouraging.
“Both quiet zones are standing. Both quiet zones withstood the 8-foot onslaught, and the plows that had to navigate those areas,” Supervisor Steven J. Walters said.
The town established the quiet zones around the railroad crossings on Cloverbank and Rogers roads in June, allowing trains to approach the crossings without blowing their whistles. The quiet zones consist of narrow yellow and black medians or traffic separator systems, which have reflective “channelization” devices. They prevent vehicles from driving around a gate that is lowered for a train to cross. The gate still will ding when it comes down.
“We were confident we were going to be able to navigate those crossings with our snow-removal equipment,” Walters said.
“It weathered its first test,” Highway Superintendent Thomas M. Best Sr. added.
But no one thought the first test of the season would be the biggest snowstorm in years.
Only one of the yellow and black channeling devices had to be replaced, Best said, but he doesn’t know whether the quiet zones were cleared with snowplow trucks or high-lifts.
“We’ll wait for the next test, which will be the next storm, and we’ll see how it goes,” Best said. “At this point, I’m happy.”