SHELBY (MTN)- The city of Shelby received 1.2 million dollars from the Federal Rail Administration, and is matching that with $950,000 dollars in grants and revenue bonds, to build quiet-zones at the two crossings in the city’s business corridor, as well as establish a number of safety improvements.
City officials say that 30 to 40 trains go through downtown Shelby each day.
The engineer in each train blows their horn every time they travel through a crossing.
Audi Bancroft, who lives two city blocks away from a crossing, says the horn blasts are very loud.
Audi Bancroft explained: “When I’m in my backyard and we’re having guest over or just doing a project in the backyard you literally can be three feet away from each other not hear what the other person is saying.”
Residents acknowledge the importance of the rail system to their community. Shelby was born with the coming of the railroad.
However, residents also appreciate the city’s efforts to reduce the volume and frequency of the loud horn blasts, and establish safety improvements at the crossing and along the tracks within the business corridor.
From May until September, thousands of tourists come through Shelby on their way to Glacier Park
One business owner says the loud horn blasts can be a turn-off for visitors.
Fieldstone Office Supply And Mercantile Owner Sanna Clark explained: “I think it would definitely make it less enjoyable especially if they’re going to, you know, we have a coffee shop down the street with outside seating. Probably not that nice to sit out and try to visit at the coffee shop when you’ve got that horn blasting in the background.”
A barista at the downtown coffee shop says the horn blasts are very loud, very frequent, and the engineers often push the horn for too long.
“I can hear it from my house definitely, and when I’m walking down main street or something and that horn starts going off I have to literally plug my ears because it’s so loud, and it hurts my ears to be honest.” :explained Prairie Peddler Coffee Shop barista Mariah Martin.
For others, the horn is home.
Shelby Floral And Gift Employee Louise Aegerter explained: “I think that it’s probably loud but they’re not used to it, we are! We’d miss it if we didn’t have it.”
Right now the city is in the design phase, but construction should begin within a year.