The City is in the process of efforts to reduce the noise generated by train horns through the establishment of quiet zones. The local railway company in Bellingham, BNSF, is required by federal regulations to sound train horns at all intersections where roads and railroad tracks cross on the same level (called “at-grade crossings”), regardless of the time of day.
Bellingham is split into two quiet zone areas, designated as the Waterfront Quiet Zone and Fairhaven Quiet Zone. There are 11 total at-grade crossings in the city – six in the Waterfront Quiet Zone area and five in the Fairhaven Quiet Zone area. Some of these crossings are on City of Bellingham property and others are on Port of Bellingham property. Any work within the railroad right-of-way must be performed by BNSF.
Bellingham Quiet Zone FAQ
Train Horn FAQ
In 2007, the City contracted with HDR to create a Quiet Zone Report. This report includes graphics showing the at-grade crossings in the two proposed Bellingham Quiet Zone areas. In 2012, cost estimates in the report were updated to reflect an 8% inflation rate.
Chad Schulhauser, P.E.
Assistant Public Works Director – Engineering
(360) 778-7910, email@example.com