The Kansas City Southern railroad crossing at Gus Thomasson Road. (Photo by Sam Gillespie)

The Dallas City Council unanimously approved $1.88 million in railroad crossing improvements at nine intersections of the Kansas City Southern railroad and East Dallas streets at the June 10 meeting.

Eighty percent of the funds will come from the federal government and 20 percent from the City of Dallas 2017 bond program.

More peaceful days and nights are ahead for neighbors who live near crossings at Santa Anna , Barnes Bridge, Centerville, Gus Thomasson, Peavy, Mariposa, Buckner, St. Francis, Lakeland and Highland.

The Kansas City Southern railroad crossing at Lakeland Drive. (Photo by Sam Gillespie)

Subcontractors hired by the City will complete sidewalks and other roadway improvements. KCS will install new crossing signal equipment and make crossing surface improvements. The agreement between KCS and the City is awaiting final signatures, and construction is expected to start six months after it’s signed off, according to KCS. Once started, the KCS portion of the work will take approximately six months.

The construction is a precursor for application to the Federal Railroad Administration for the designation of a quiet zone.

Residents near the railroad can probably tell you the non-quiet zone FRA requirement of two long, one short and one more long with a minimum level of 96 decibels and a maximum of 110 decibels. For reference, a vacuum cleaner is 75 decibels, a lawn mower is 95 decibels and a chainsaw is about 110 decibels.

Once the FRA approves the work, a quiet zone is established, and the locomotive engineer must refrain from using the train horn — except in emergencies, of course.

KCS officials say that quiet zones typically take one year from paperwork completion. Although Casa View, Casa Linda, Little Forest Hills and other neighborhoods won’t get immediate relief, a good night’s sleep undisturbed by a midnight train will soon pass from dream to reality.

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