34 answers

Living near Railroad Tracks - How Noisy Is It? (Chicago Suburbs)

I've found a lot of great homes whose only drawback seems to be proximity to railroad tracks (combination of freight and commuter trains). How noisy would it be to be 1-2 blocks from a major railway? They'd be newer homes (no more than 15 years old), so perhaps they'd be soundproofed? I'd appreciate some input from those who have lived that close to RR tracks.

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Tam, that is an EXCELLENT point that I hadn't even considered. Thank you for that!

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I have lived near train tracks my whole life, used by both Conrail and Amtrack. I love the sound of trains. I couldn't stand being near an airport or major highway, those would be deal breakers for me. But trains? Nah, I find the sound quite soothing.

3 moms found this helpful

We used to live right on the tracks in a condo in Downers, we even faced the tracks and it wasn't too bad. you hardly notice the metra trains. Empty freight trains are worse than full ones because they rattle. If you really like the house, I wouldn't let proximity to the tracks deter you.

3 moms found this helpful

Some sounds are soothing--I like a ticking clock. Buy one of the railroad cds that was mentioned and see if you can sleep with that.

3 moms found this helpful

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it sucks, BAD......and this was 7 blocks away

my friend has lived 8 blocks away from cargo train tracks & after 18 years she's done, she's moving........she has a great backyard but i hate going there due to the noise

3 moms found this helpful

I have lived near train tracks my whole life, used by both Conrail and Amtrack. I love the sound of trains. I couldn't stand being near an airport or major highway, those would be deal breakers for me. But trains? Nah, I find the sound quite soothing.

3 moms found this helpful

Some sounds are soothing--I like a ticking clock. Buy one of the railroad cds that was mentioned and see if you can sleep with that.

3 moms found this helpful

We used to live right on the tracks in a condo in Downers, we even faced the tracks and it wasn't too bad. you hardly notice the metra trains. Empty freight trains are worse than full ones because they rattle. If you really like the house, I wouldn't let proximity to the tracks deter you.

3 moms found this helpful

I remember when I was a teen my aunt and uncle who lived in California came for a visit and stayed with my grandparents. Both got up the first morning they were there and complained about the noise the train made and that the city clock tower chimed 13 times at midnight. My grandparents only comment was what train -- what clock tower. There home was only 2 houses from the tracks and about 2 blocks from the clock tower. They were so used to the sounds they never heard them any more.
I grew up on a major highway. Many years later my grandpa had moved in with my parents and he would get up early in the morning complaining about the noise the trucks made, my parents reaction -- what trucks?

You get so used to the normal sounds around your home that after a time you do not even notice the noise.

3 moms found this helpful

I think it is all relative. If the train comes through once a night than no big deal. If it is a major train thoroughfare than I'd think twice. I doubt there is any amount of soundproofing that could be done. In addition I think you'd have a hard time reselling it when the time comes.

I'd keep looking.

2 moms found this helpful

When I first met my husband he lived in an apartment that had a major railroad track about a half block behind his apartment. He loved it. It took me a LOOONG time to get used to it and even though I never really did get used to it, eventually it's irritating factor diminished. It still woke me up though when it would roll through at night.

If I were you, I would canvass the area and ask your would be neighbors what there take on it is.

~When we were looking to buy a house we ran across a real nice one on the river but also close to train tracks...husband was in heaven but I had to veto it. Railroad tracks in close proximity and children together scare the holly living daylights out of me. I would never be comfortable letting them go out and ride their bikes or anything!!

2 moms found this helpful

I live half a mile north of those same tracks and in the summer with the windows open, we can hear the train. The train traffic over night is a lot less than during the day and commuting hours. Are there street crossings near your house or is it all over/under pass? The trains can't blow their horns during certain times, so you don't have to worry about that.

I think you'd get used to it.

2 moms found this helpful

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