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  1. #1
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    would you buy a house near a rail road track?

    so thats the question, would you or wouldnt you? does anyone live by a railroad? im looking at nice house in my city but the only thing bugging me is the train. there is a sound wall behind the house and the railroad track is about 5-800 ft from the house but it is a nice house.
    Last edited by menusk; 05-05-2011 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by menusk
    so thats the question, would you or wouldnt you? does anyone live by a railroad? im looking at nice house in my city but the only thing bugging me is the train. there is a sound wall behind the house and the railroad track is about 1000 ft from the house but it is a nice house.
    I would. I have lived in places where you can hear the trains clearly 4-5 miles from the tracks. and lived less than a block away. But it can drive some people crazy.
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  3. #3
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    I would not. My dad lived right next to a track (thankfully AFTER I was out of the house) and it sucked. You'd be over there for dinner and mid-conversation and then the train would come by and there was no talking for a few minutes while it passed. I hated it.
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  4. #4
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    Depends CPR mainline is probably not the best to be beside......

    I live about 5 k from the mainline....trains are audible especially at night....but you have to listen for it.

    The sound wall will help but a big train shakes the ground.

  5. #5
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    NO... your gut is telling you- wait for what you want instead of settling for rumbling noise at any time of the day or night.

    You may like the house and might be oblivious to the noise though odds are if there's more than you moving in, it will affect someone. Resale value is also something to consider... tough sell.

  6. #6
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    I lived about 40 ft. from a railroad track for over a year. The rumble wasn't bad to me, it would wake you up and then just rock you back to sleep. However, if you are close to a crossing signal with a bell that dings the whole time the train is passing it's a whole different experience. The dinger was far form my house, but one day I was stopped at the signal and looked over at the houses right next to it and realized what they went through several nights a week. Also, if there are lots of cross streets near by then you'll get to hear the horn blaring as the engine passes. The honking isn't nearly as bad as the dinging because you can usually only hear it for 30 seconds or so.
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  7. #7
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    I lived next to a track for a year. you eventually tune it out, and barely notice it, but it would certainly not be my first choice.

  8. #8
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    hmmm sorta like a split decision going on here haha

  9. #9
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    Nothing like the train horn @ 3:00 am.

  10. #10
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    nope

    Passed on a reduced price lot 13 years ago that backed up to the tracks. Built about 1/2 mi north of that lot (paid a little more) and we still hear the train like it's coming through our backyard several times a night. Can't imagine living in the lot we looked at originally. It would probably wake up the kids every night, and make the dog bark.

  11. #11
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    I'm 6/10ths of a mile from the tracks, it's not a problem, but would not want to be much closer.

  12. #12
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    I bought a house 2 blocks from a RR track. Train runs all day/night, but it was slow so not really loud. Most of the time I don't even know a train passed unless I was heading towards the crossing.

  13. #13
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    I lived less than a block from a railroad and a railroad crossing. The crossing sucked. Bells and lights. I swore I would never do it again.
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  14. #14
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    You'd probably love to pick up the house and put it on a different lot. I had to make this decision once. It was a beautiful house with a nice porch, big yard, totally built out garage, wood work, nice floors... and train tracks at the back of the property. I am a mechanical engineer and am pretty aware of, and in tune with, mechanical sounds of machinery and such. It is impossible for me to ignore a train. Plus, the crossing was not far off so all trains going West sounded their horn as they went by.
    One day I rode my bike around that neighborhood and stopped at the house every time a train went by. I decided that no matter how nice the house was, there was no way I was going to live by the tracks and listen to wheels with flat spots, compressed air leaks, diesel engines, squeaks, rattles, etc.
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  15. #15
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    I'd vote no. That's a little too close. I live in the country and the tracks are about 1/4 mile away. Perfect. I can hear it, but can't feel it.

    Plus, those sound walls are magnets for graffiti.

    Edit: Can you make an appt. to be there on a busy train day? Lie in a bedroom and imagine you're trying to sleep.
    Last edited by Finch Platte; 05-05-2011 at 03:04 PM.

  16. #16
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    Mr. President, what are your thoughts on this matter?



    I concur.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadric
    Mr. President, what are your thoughts on this matter?



    I concur.
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  18. #18
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    I would! My town is full of them and I have family who's backyard butts up to the tracks. Honestly, I love it. It gives me a sense of relaxation (similar to a white noise machine) you know?!

    But....I think more people would choose NOT to live by the tracks.

  19. #19
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    I do - maybe 25-30m from my flat - and after a week or two living here I realised i didn't notice it that often, you get used to it. It's a fairly busy line into London but I'd take this kind of noise over a busy main road anyday. Obviously total rural tranquility would be better, but I have a nice flat with a garage that backs onto geen space on the other side and there's great singletrack within a 3 minute spin into the hills. It was a concern when I moved, but it's proven to be far less of a disturbance than i thought. Trains over car traffic any day.

  20. #20
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    I wouldn't, I wouldn't buy one near an airport either. And if by some twist of fate I wound up doing so...I damned sure wouldn't complain about the noise from either, I'd just deal with it till I had the means to move....
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  21. #21
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    NO WAY!!!! I live about one mile from some tracks, I hear that damn thing at all times of the morning. Good part is I havn't overslept since I moved in since one always goes through town about 5:45 am every morning, then again at 6:30.
    "A full rigid SS or fixie is 99% rider, 1% bike, and 100% more fun" Monogod

  22. #22
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    I would. If you get sick of the working man's life; the toils of the underpaid and under-appreciated sap, you could always hop the rails. Become a free-roaming hobo. Ahhh... livin' the life.

  23. #23
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    Never! My office is about 200 feet from the tracks and it kinda sucks. When I was a kid, I lived about 7 miles from the tracks. When the weather was right, like a cool still late afternoon, you could hear the train. I read somewhere that the sound bounces off the atmosphere when the conditions are just right.

  24. #24
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    Nooooooo!!!! Don't do it! My work put me up in a motel for a week and there was a train that ran nearby. It must have been where the conductor was required to blow the horn along the route because a couple times a night I'd be awakened to that-every night.
    If you know the train schedules and where they blow the horn, and none of it is bothersome then maybe I would.
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  25. #25
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    Never, its always gonna kill your resale

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody
    Never, its always gonna kill your resale
    Your gonna get it cheap to begin with, so it's kind of a wash.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
    Your gonna get it cheap to begin with, so it's kind of a wash.
    Not when no one buys it because its next to the train tracks

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody
    Not when no one buys it because its next to the train tracks
    Why would someone do that and pay more then the appraised value?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
    Why would someone do that and pay more then the appraised value?
    Personally I'd buy (already did) a house that will hopefully increase in value and be in a good enough area to be desirable, next to train tracks is neither of those things.

  30. #30
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    I grew up around a thousand yards from a Santa Fe track as a pre teen. Even though our parents trusted us with good judgement, we placed everything we could find on the tracks. Shopping carts, boards, discarded beat up bikes, pennies, keys, and...ahem, ourselves. If you have boys, you might wanna pass. Thinking back at all the stupid crap we did, I'm amazed I'm still alive.
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  31. #31
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    11 years within 100 ft. of the tracks. You certainly tune it out after awhile. Doesn't wake any of us up at night. The only time I really notice it is on a nice evening I may have the front door open and a train will go by. But we love the neighborhood we're in too.
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  32. #32
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
    When the weather was right, like a cool still late afternoon, you could hear the train. I read somewhere that the sound bounces off the atmosphere when the conditions are just right.
    ^^^Sound travels better in warmer, less dense air. I love this kind of stuff. From USA Today meteorology page: ...when warm air above the earth caps cold air near the ground — an inversion — and noise is made in the cold layer of air, the sound waves are bent as they move into the warm air, thus traveling farther than they would without the inversion...

    Gedzelman mentioned how he hears a train whistle three miles away almost every morning because just after sunset and just after dawn are favored times of the day for inversions to set up."

    This is neat: "Gedzelman also mentioned an unusual conversion between scientists in the Arctic several decades ago. They were on separate islands about a mile apart and their weather observations indicated a strong inversion overhead.

    They carried on a conversation without aid of telephones, megaphones or any other voice enhancing equipment — just calling out to each other. As Gedzelman describes:

    "One would say 'Hello' and it would take five seconds for that to reach the other fellow ... sound waves take five seconds to travel a mile. Then he would return a 'Hello' and the first guy would hear it ten seconds after he started the conversation."

    And the link if anyone wants the rest of the story: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/reso...refraction.htm
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  33. #33
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    It depends. What kind of train? Passenger/freight/both? Diesel/electric? What speed are the trains going past the house?

    I live in the English countryside where we get electric commuter trains a few hundred yards away several times an hour throughout the day, from 6am to 1am, at speeds of 40-60mph. Freight trains go past a few times a day too. I can hear the trains clearly when the windows are open, but the noise isn't disruptive. With the windows closed, you can't hear the noise of the train on the rails, but can hear its horn.

  34. #34
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    Grew up across the street from a well-used track in Detroit. I remember hearing the ding-ding of the crossing gates late at night, and also sometimes the train. It wasn't so bad, but bear in mind that it was all the life I knew at the time. The houses across the street and immediately adjacent to the track probably blocked much of the noise.

    As a kid in the 1970s, I would ride the service trail adjacent to the tracks on my Schwinn Typhoon (and earlier bikes). There was also some singletrack in the right-of-way about 100 feet or so from the tracks. That railroad and the right-of-way gave me my first taste of singletrack and offroad riding.

    Now I live in a house that happens to be a designated snowmobile route through town. Had no idea that was the case or what it meant when I bought the place. I'm on the corner too, so I get snow machines from both directions at all hours of the day and night. It sucks.

  35. #35
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    Having worked for 10 years for a railroad company, I would not personally live near a RR track.

    Those 10 years were not the best years of my life and I dont want any more reminders than i have to have.

  36. #36
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    I grew up in a house 1/2 block from train tracks. You get used to it. Make sure you don't have old metal sliding windows though, used to stick popsicle sticks in them so they wouldn't rattle LOL.

    Now I live 45 mins from the city....don't think I ever plan to go back & deal with shithole traffic all the time.

  37. #37
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    I live 1/4 mi from the tracks and 1/2 mi from the crossing. 20+ freight trains pass through daily. The only thing that bothers me now after 12 yrs is the engineer laying on the horn at 2am purposely trying to wake up people up. Normaly don't notice to much. Once in a while see cool stuff-tanks, airplane fuselages and circus trains.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmerlaker
    I live 1/4 mi from the tracks and 1/2 mi from the crossing. 20+ freight trains pass through daily. The only thing that bothers me now after 12 yrs is the engineer laying on the horn at 2am purposely trying to wake up people up. Normaly don't notice to much. Once in a while see cool stuff-tanks, airplane fuselages and circus trains.
    Now a days, you can try and get a city ordinance passed that limits air horns from blowing during certain hours say from midnight to 5am. I know of several cities along the route I used to cover during my tenure at the RR I worked for passing this kind of measure.

  39. #39
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    It depends. If it's close to the track because the track goes through, say, the Columbia River Gorge or something, and you get waterfront property or some other benefit, then it's a tradeoff worth considering. Just for a nicer house...no.

    You must also consider how much traffic the track sees, and how close you are to a crossing where it will honk it's horn.

  40. #40
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    hell yeah!
    Trains Rock!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  41. #41
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    I like trains............

    I like trains just fine, but I wouldn't want a busy line next to my house. I do live right beside a track but it only has one train a day that comes by at 11 and returns at 3 or 4 in the morning. It is a very small and slow train and I don't ever wake up from it, although I always know it is coming by if I'm awake. OMG, is that an earthquake? As the house shakes....no it's just the train.....

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  42. #42
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    Depends way too much on local circumstances.

    3 houses ago, lived 1/3 of a mile from tracks. Could hear trains, but not too bad. However, due to some absolutely wacky local geology, every time a freight train went by, the whole house shook.

    2 houses ago, lived 1.5 blocks from train, with several rows of large trees and 4 other houses in between. Never heard the train unless I paid attention...but it didn't have to blow the horn for the crossing by us.

    Current house, live 1/4 mile from train. I never hear it...but my wife does from time to time.

    Go and sit at the lot for a while, at different times, and see what you hear.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365
    I lived next to a track for a year. you eventually tune it out, and barely notice it, but it would certainly not be my first choice.
    ^^^This.

    I have about 4 years living next to a train track, and while you do eventually tune it out, I wouldn't go looking to buy a house close to them. Look at the questions and possible objections you have about the house you are looking to buy, and then imagine trying to sell it in the future.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    Now I live in a house that happens to be a designated snowmobile route through town. Had no idea that was the case or what it meant when I bought the place. I'm on the corner too, so I get snow machines from both directions at all hours of the day and night. It sucks.
    Hrm, since im in Ishepming half the time and have rode your way many times, I'm probably one of the people who have annoyed you. I'm as corteous as I can be and have a quieter than OEM muffler on my sled to help as much as I can. But yes, 2-smokes are anything but peace and quiet.

    I've never lived in the city of Marquette, MI but I've been overnight at quite a few houses that have (yay college towns! lol...) and you can hear the trains that deliver Taconite pellets to the loading dock ANYWHERE in the city - which is quite sizable and hilly.

  45. #45
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    I live about 1.5 mi from a busy freight line. Lots of thru trains and lots of trains stopping to make deliveries to the feed plant.

    I could NEVER live closer to it with the horns. The rumbling as they pass isn't as disruptive, but on some nights I can even hear that from my patio. But the horns...ugh.

    My in-laws live within sight of a not-so-busy track. Trains don't come by all that frequently, but they'll wake me up when they do. I would personally not even consider buying a house in that neighborhood simply from the train tracks. One thing I do when considering a place is to look at a map and see what's nearby. Train tracks, highways, etc.

  46. #46
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    I think that you learn to live with the sound, like stated above, soon you sort of tune it out. I live about a mile from a rail line and I can hear it at night(never in the day). A good friend of mine grew up right next to those tracks and they never bothered him. Again, like stated above, he just tuned the noise out after time.

    I think a major question you have to ask yourself is this, how long to you plan on staying, because I think it will definitely be an issue when you sell the house.

  47. #47
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    Resale would be an issue for most.

    Also, train tracks tend to draw in the undesirables who travel them afoot.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones
    Hrm, since im in Ishepming half the time and have rode your way many times, I'm probably one of the people who have annoyed you. I'm as corteous as I can be and have a quieter than OEM muffler on my sled to help as much as I can. But yes, 2-smokes are anything but peace and quiet.
    You should come over and ride sometime, or maybe I should go your way and ride. I hear no end of good things about the trails in your area. One of my friends likes to do that Wednesday ride from the beer pub. I guess your trails can be a bit twisty. He came back a few times last year muttering about trading in his 29er for a 26er.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout
    Resale would be an issue for most.
    That's what Yody said. But Again, your buying price should have been low. The selling price is going to be low, so therefore, it's a wash.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    You should come over and ride sometime, or maybe I should go your way and ride. I hear no end of good things about the trails in your area. One of my friends likes to do that Wednesday ride from the beer pub. I guess your trails can be a bit twisty. He came back a few times last year muttering about trading in his 29er for a 26er.
    Unfortunately I've been stuck contracting in IL and will be for a while still. I do get up and ride back in Marquette county though because there really is nothing like it in the midwest. Plus I have a house there. I could see about the technicality on some of the trails, especially if you hit up the brewerewery before the ride heh.

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