Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone Testing
SAN DIEGO — On behalf of
the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), West
Coast General Corporation/Select Electric will be performing a major
cut-over transition of old to new railroad signaling equipment starting on
Friday night, March 30 at 11:00 p.m. until Sunday evening, April 1, for the
Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone project. The cut-over will remove old
equipment and put new equipment in service.
Scheduled for March 30 through April 1
The work will affect the at-grade rail crossings from Sassafras Street to
Ash Street. Amtrak and the Coaster trains will continue providing service
following their normal schedules during this time period. Trolley service
will continue during the entire operation with minor delays within the work
Once the initial installation is complete and preliminary testing is
performed, a test train will be utilized beginning Sunday night at
approximately midnight. The test train will run a minimum of 24 runs that
should be complete by 8:00 a.m. Flaggers will be present at all of the
affected crossings during the cut-over and testing period. The testing will
be performed at night during the time period when the commuter trains
(Amtrak and the Coaster) are not operating. The heavy rail (BNSF Railway)
will be restricted from operating during the test period.
CCDC is moving forward with an application to the Federal Railroad
Administration (FRA) to designate downtown a Quiet Zone at downtown San
Diego's 13 grade crossings (Park Boulevard to Laurel Street). In order to
establish a Quiet Zone, the railroad crossings are improved with safety
enhancements such as additional gates, medians, traffic signals and warning
lights. The Park Boulevard improvements will be constructed as a separate
project and will include similar safety enhancements to meet the Quiet Zone
designation. Construction is anticipated to be completed in late May with a
mid-June formal certification anticipated. These improvements reduce the
requirement that train horns be sounded at railway crossings, absent
A simplified explanation of why the testing is necessary.
Tests of railroad signal and crossing systems are a FRA requirement. All
railroad systems must undergo several levels of testing prior to systems
being deemed safe for service. The minimum tests required for each system
and subsystem are; pretesting of each component, system and subsystem,
in-service testing of each system and subsystem, and commissioning tests
performed under actual train traffic.
How many more tests are necessary between now and project completion?
Seven (7) phases of commissioning have been submitted by the contractor.
After this cut-over is complete there will be two additional cut-overs to
complete the Quiet Zone project. Each phase will require meeting all
required FRA testing. Test trains will be used for commissioning the portion
of the system being put into service. This will be the final testing
utilizing a test train for commissioning the equipment
The Department of Transportation FRA Office of Safety sets the minimum
requirements under Part 234 of the Rules and Regulations Governing Railroad
Signal and Train Control Systems. North County Transit District requires two
(2) warning times in each direction for each track, for every affected
crossing system. This testing will be limited to the heavy rail side of the
For more information about the Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone project visit www.ccdc.com and
click on the Downtown Quiet Zone section of the website.