Shawnee neighborhood silences trains

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 30, 2017
and last updated 2018-01-02 17:17:25-05

A neighborhood in Shawnee Kansas celebrated as the mayor declared December, 30th 2017 'Rails and Trails Day' in honor of the work done by residents to establish a quiet zone. 

After 13 years of hard work, people who live along a railroad track in Shawnee, Kansas successfully established a quiet zone for trains passing through. 

"They said it’d be a cold day when we got the horns to stop," said Jack Tredinnick, who was part of the group that worked on getting the project completed. 

A silence Tredinnick and his neighbors are still getting used to. 

The small group of neighbors involved celebrated today after more than a decade of working towards the quiet zone. 

Trains no longer need to use their whistles when passing through between the 5900 and 7900 blocks of Martindale Road. 

But it wasn't easy to get to this point. When residents decided to take on the project 13 years ago, they had no idea what was in store. 

"A lot of federal regulations that had to be met that when we started out on this we didn’t even know existed," said Tredinnick. 

There were 89 trains going through that area every day. Each one sounding their horn 6 times. 

"Babies couldn’t sleep at night, mother’s couldn’t sleep, people couldn’t use their patios," said Tredinnick. 

In order for the city to put in these crossing arms and create the quiet zone, another crossing had to be eliminated. 

The one eliminated was the only access point for a portion of David Hoehn's land. 

"In the past see that crossing there was open and we had access to all this," said Hoehn. 

So neighbors banned together to raise $45,000 of their own money to build a concrete bridge on Hoehn's property. 

This gave him access to the rest of his land without the need of the railroad crossing. 

The work between the neighborhood and the city was commemorated by Shawnee mayor Michelle Disler on a Saturday. 

"Therefore I Michelle Disler the mayor of Shawnee Kansas do hereby proclaim December 30th, 2017 as Rails and Trails day in the city of Shawnee," said Disler. 

The proclamation is symbolic of the work it too to make the quiet zone a reality. 

Tredinnick says the payoff of silence is all he needs. 

"It’s changed everyone’s lives everyone is really happy about the way this has gone," said Tredinnick.