The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents unanimously agreed to spend $4.5 million to create a railroad quiet zone through the A&M campus at its regular meeting on Thursday.
This project is an effort to silence train horns at four railroad crossings along Wellborn Road near A&M’s campus at F&B Road, Old Main Drive, John Kimbrough Boulevard and George Bush Drive.
The project will cost a total of $5 million. In February, the A&M Regents approved $500,000 for pre-construction purposes. Construction is expected to begin in June and have substantial completion by August 2021.
Project construction will require improved safety measures at each of the railroad crossings, including implementing a median, median gates, pedestrian improvement and wayside horns, which are stationary horns that point and channel sound directly toward motorists.
University officials intend for the railroad quiet zone to improve public safety, cause less disruptions to academics and campus life. Texas A&M has several large buildings, including residence halls, near the railroad and is currently constructing the 21st Century Classroom building adjacent to the Doug Pitcock ’49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center.
Train traffic along the Navasota Subdivision of the Union Pacific Railroad Road is expected to increase from an average of 24 trains per day to nearly 50 within the next five years.