San Diego Quiet Zone
NEWS RELEASE   March 29, 2012


Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone Testing
Scheduled for March 30 through April 1

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.

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 area.

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 emergency situations.

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 railroad corridor.

For more information about the Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone project visit and click on the Downtown Quiet Zone section of the website.


CCDC is a public, nonprofit corporation established in 1975 by the City of San Diego to plan and facilitate the redevelopment of the 1,500-acre downtown area.



Last modified:  Saturday, August 11, 2012 10:19 PM Copyright 2007