Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 2 months ago

Does anyone have experience of living next to a train line?

I have found the perfect property - but, the only problem if that it backs onto a train line. When I was viewing, no trains passed, so i couldn’t judge whether it would be noisy or whether I’d be able to feel vibrations etc.

Does anyone have experience with living next to a train line to offer advice? 

If it helps, the property is in a block of flats. First floor 

13 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Yes, they are noisy, but you do get accustomed to the noise in time. I have lived about a couple hundred yards give or take a few from 2 main tracks and a side track that ends at a cold storage food business on on end and a petroleum/gasoline refinery in the other direction, it is mostly used by a train that stopped for a period of time to overnight, then getting onto the main tracks to continue it's run. The parked trains often have refrigerated cars, so the train engine will rev up some once in awhile, the engine provides the electricity to run the refers on those cars, the engine almost always is running at an idle, but they are shut down if the train is parked over a day or longer, The real noisy time is when the engine starts revving up to get back onto the main tracks and when it starts to move all the cars have slack on the connections to cars ahead and behind it is a chain reaction starting from the car behind the engine and each car in line one by one that when the slack is taken up at the connection each car makes quite a loud Bam, Bam, noise, I can't think of a good example to give an idea of how loud it is, the noise also happens when the train is coming to a stop and the cars slamming into the car in front one by one to the last car. The tracks are busy near me as a train yard is a few miles north of me, they sounded their horn thru 2 crossings a couple mile apart from my place and I have had the house raddle and shake, at times the windows vibrate so much that they would sometimes crack in the corners mostly. The times windows started vibrating were when the engine was working hard to pick up speed with many cars loaded up, the can get pretty long and be pulling hundreds of cars, you can really feel the power of the engine working hard and hear that it is trying to squeeze as much horsepower out that the engine has. They did make the crossings comply to now make it a quite zone so they don't blow the horn at the crossings, but it does still happen sometimes. I kind of miss hearing the horns and have actually found it hard to sleep at times when I was someplace that was quiet, but I have no problem sleeping at a place that has train traffic nearby. I do find myself thinking a questioning "WHAT"??? when someone who lives in this area, complains about the train noise, with the train tracks in plain sight of them, it isn't a hidden secret that trains pass thru. So yes they are noisy, but you do get accustomed to it for the most part and as the length of time gets longer you are near trains, if you pay attention and listen, they have a rhythm to the noise they produce such as the steady click, click like sound of the cars steel, front then rear wheels moving over the track forcing the section of steel rail down onto the wooden ties causing the car to sway and bob up and down like a roller coaster going over small hills close together. To give an idea of one of the noises, the engine is really a giant generator, if you have heard an electric generator at a large building running or the generators that power the rides at the Minnesota State Fair in the midway, you will get an idea on how a train engine sounds but on a bigger scale. I hope that helps in answering your question, I have 50+ years under my belt around trains to the east and barges sounding their horns to the west and the many years of tanker trucks passing right in front of my place heading to the refinery to my south 24/7, but now that street is dead ended on both ends and the trucks moved to a different road to the refinery. Peace and Quiet is the norm now, with only Highway and Freeway traffic noise....


  • 2 months ago

    -I spent my first 17 years very near the railroad tracks.  I grew up in a very small rail town.  I don't think I ever really paid much attention to them except when a cousin was there who was obsessed with trains.  Every time he heard a train he would take off for the station.  Of course, it became my job to follow him and drag him back.  My father was an engineer and my grandfather was a conductor. 

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Yes. I live about 20 yards from a main line. I sleep like a baby. You get used to it quickly.

  • F
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    I grew up near a railway line. My Dad commuted by train so it’s one reason they bought the house. It was near a station so trains were slowing to stop so we didn’t get the noise of high 

    speed trains.

    However it was on a long bend and you got that screeching noise as trains rounded the corner. It was enough to wake you up when the first train in the morning ran.

    It really depends on how busy the line is and the speed of trains passing. At least look up a timetable.

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  • 2 months ago

    Try asking your potential neighbors what they think of it. 

    When I was a kid we lived right next to a train line, but it was never a problem as it only ran during the day - if I recall correctly the first train was about 0830 and the last at 1800.  We used to rush up the garden to wave to the driver, quite a few gave us a toot in passing.  We've no idea what happens with the one near your place.

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Years ago, we moved to a house about 500' from a rail line. I didn't think the track was used anymore. Every morning around 5:00, the train would come down the track blasting its horn at all the crossings along the way. After awhile, we didn't even notice it.

  • 2 months ago

    I did for a while...I guess you get used to it, but never completely. Guests would always ask how we slept thru that? It seemed like a train would pass right when they were revealing the killers name or such on tv. ha ha I'm glad I moved away.

  • 2 months ago

    It is bound to feel and sound loud at first.  But you will be surprised at how well you will adjust to it.   Had a friend who lived a few feet from the track .  When the train went by, everybody froze where they were and in mid sentence.  Then when the train was gone they picked up again and carried on.  Nobody even blinked at the interruption.

         The only real problem might be if you decide to sell.  You will have to convince buyers that it is not so bad.

  • 2 months ago

    I lived above a subway for a year. Only felt the vibrations occasionally but it did rattle my windows every 5 to 10 minutes so I got some rubber weather stripping and that fixed it.  Why not ask your neighbors how often the train passes and I'd they have any issues?  How close are you? 50 feet?  100 feet?  Are you near an intersection?  If there's a noise ordinance, it'll be posted on the rail guards. Some cuties do not allow the trains to blow their horns so you have to be extra vigilant when crossing. 

  • 2 months ago

    Lived for a short time in a house where the outside corner of the kitchen was probably 3 feet from the railroad track.  Had about four or five trains a day that when by the house.  At least one during the night every night.  You get use to it.  (The owner of the house was the engineer on one of the trains.)

    You did not tell us how far it is between your house and rails.  Without that information we have no guess how much noise and vibration there would be.

    This is a question to ask the realtor.  They should be able to find out how often the track is used.  Whether they come through in the day or at night, etc.  There is a track near where I live now, but it is used once a week on Tuesday morning to do a pickup at a small furniture factory.  So the noise and vibration is not an issue.

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