FREEPORT

Town councilors are expected to decide Tuesday whether — and how — quiet zones can be imposed at several of the town’s railroad crossings.

Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger train currently passes through town eight times each day. Each time it does, federal law requires the engineer to sound the train’s horn to warn motorists and pedestrians.

Trackside property owners complain that the whistle is destroying their quality of life by waking children and fraying nerves. They want local ordinances enacted to silence the whistle.

But quieter crossings could mean adding extra gates, warning lights and traffic control measures, which could cost the town millions of dollars.

Additionally, officials must decide whether to apply for funds through the Federal Railroad Administration, or simply enact the zones on its own.

Freeport currently meets federal requirements for whistle-free crossings. However, councilors must decide if additional warning gear is needed at several intersections, including Bow, West, School and Park streets, to protect the town if someone gets hurt or killed at one of the crossings in question.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at town hall.

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