Residents lobby for Downeaster 'quiet zone'

7:19 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It's been two months since the Amtrak Downeaster started making runs to Freeport. While the passenger service is being credited for bringing an increase of visitors, some say the noise from the trains is disrupting their lives and even costing some businesses money.

Guests who want to sleep in at the Hilton Garden Inn are getting a rude awakening. 'The train going by at 6:30 in the morning and then gain at 7:20 or so is a challenge especially on the weekend,' said Josh Cushing the manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport. The hotel is located between two railroad crossings. He says while the Amtrak Downeaster train service has brought more visitors, the noise is the top complaint from guests.

The hotel spent 15-hundred dollars on sleep kits, complete with ear plugs to help guests get a good night's sleep. The hotel management is supporting efforts to get Freeport designated a quiet zone as a way to deal with the noise. The town would have to upgrade the crossings to meet federal safety guidelines, which could cost anywhere from one-thousand to a million dollars.

Town council members are expected to vote next Tuesday night whether to authorize applying for a quiet zone designation from the Federal Railroad administration.


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