Update on the start of the Amtrak Downeaster train and railroad crossing upgrades along the Pan Am Railways line to maintain/expand a "Quiet Zone."
ACTION: No Council action is anticipated.
On December 12, 2011, the Council voted 7-0 to approve an order to authorize a supplemental appropriation of $130,000 from the undesignated fund balance for railroad crossing upgrades.
These funds would pay for improvements to four railroad crossings along the Pan Am Railways line in order to maintain (and expand) a so-called â€śQuiet Zoneâ€ť (QZ) in Falmouth in anticipation of increased frequency and speed of trains when the Amtrak Downeaster train service starts.
In December 2011, staff stated it would bring this topic back to the Council for a check-in if the Amtrak expansion would not happen. The Town was informed by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority that the Amtrak Downeaster train service is scheduled to commence on or around November 1, 2012. This date requires immediate action by the Town to install the proposed crossing upgrades and make the necessary notifications to the Federal Railroad Administration and other parties.
Before the Town does so, it seemed prudent to do an additional check-in with the Council. No action by the Council is required at this time.