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Train Horn Rule - History and Timeline

July 26, 1991

FRA Administrator Gil Carmichael issues Emergency Order 15 that pre-empts 1984 Florida statute permitting local whistle bans at highway-rail grade crossings along the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway between Jacksonville to Miami.

Nov. 2, 1994

Original statutory mandate enacted by Congress (Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994) requiring the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations requiring the sounding of locomotive horns at all public highway-rail grade crossings, and to provide exceptions under specific conditions and circumstances.

April 1995

FRA completes and issues Nationwide Study of Train Whistle Bans

June 1995

Initial public outreach to affected communities begins

Oct. 9, 1996

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act amends original statutory mandate, requiring FRA to take into consideration the interests of communities with longstanding whistle bans.

Nov. 2, 1996

Deadline for issuing a Final rule is missed because of expanded public outreach required by previous legislative action, and preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Statement [DEIS]).

Jan. 12, 2000

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and DEIS is issued. FRA conducts extensive stakeholder briefings and outreach.

Jan. 13, 2000

NPRM is published in the Federal Register.

Mar-May 2003

FRA conducts twelve public hearings in nine states across the country from
March 6, through May 3, 2000

May 10, 2000

FRA conducts technical conference on train horn acoustics

May 26, 2000

NPRM Comment period concludes (totals 133 days)

July 18, 2000

Deputy Administrator Jack Wells testified before Surface Transportation Subcommittee of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), the first dedicated congressional hearing ever on this topic.

Dec. 21, 2000

Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act requires FRA to delay of issuance of a Final Rule until after July 1, 2001

Dec. 18, 2003

IFR published in the Federal Register; effective date of Dec. 18, 2004

Feb. 04, 2004

FRA conducts public hearing on IFR.

Feb. 17, 2004

IFR Public comment period scheduled to close, but extended at the request ofvarious stakeholders seeking additional time to prepare and submit comments.

April 19, 2004

Extended IFR comment period concludes.

Nov. 22, 2004

IFR effective date changed to April 1, 2005

Mar. 18, 2005

IFR effective date changed to June 24, 2005.

April 22, 2005

Final Rule on display at the Federal Register.

April 27, 2005

Final Rule published in the Federal Register.

June 24, 2005

Final Rule goes into effect.

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