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Downtown residents looking forward to hearing less noise once downtown's quiet zone project is complete may need some earplugs on Sunday, July 10. From 6am to 1pm, train horns will blast through their homes as safety crews test new signaling equipment.

Trains entering all rail crossings will check the "accuracy and responsiveness" of the new devices. Just to make sure that all signals are audible, a test-train will make eight round-trips from Old Town to Downtown.

The safety tests need to be completed by Spring 2012 before the the area between Laurel Street and Fifth Avenue can qualify as a "quiet zone." After the designation, train operators will not be required to sound their horns while approaching rail crossings.

In a statement, Gary Bosse, Centre City Development Corporation's assistant vice president for public works stated: “We are glad to be making progress on this important project, yet remain sensitive to the possible inconvenience. We will complete the testing as quickly as possible, knowing that noise now is in the name of a quieter tomorrow.”

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