MASON CITY, Iowa- The sound of silence is one Peter Artuy appreciates. The road where he lives is closed off as part of the quiet zone initiative to keep trains from blowing their whistles.
“It’s better than when all the traffic was coming down the road,” he said. “Now the kids can go out and play while being a little safer.”
But the project isn’t quiet complete yet. The city still needs to finalize an agreement with the feds. In the meantime, trains can continue blowing their whistles.
"The trains aren’t really quiet,” said Artuy. “It’s frustrating when they blow their horns at five in the morning.”
City leaders fear the shutdown will delay getting federal approval for the quiet zone.
“Frankly, I wish the federal government would do their job,” said Mayor Bill Schickel. “You could imagine if the city operations just shut down. The federal government passes laws that we all have to abide by and yet they’re not fulfilling one of the most basic responsibilities.”
The quiet zone project isn’t the only one affected. Mayor Schickel said the highline trail project is in the same boat because there is an old railway involved as well as funding. Mason City isn’t the only city feeling the heat.
“It’s impacting everything, really,” he said.
While the city waits for approval from the government, Artuy is left listening to all the bells and whistles that come with living near a train track.
“I guess we just have to wait for the government to open,” he said.
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