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Living Near Train Tracks?


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In the area I'm keen on, I've seen a few properties whose back gardens back onto train tracks (the main south coast route). I know there will be a train every 10 mins or so, but nothing between approx. 11pm and 6am. The train are mostly pretty slow as the stations are less than a mile away in each direction. Also 95% of the trains are electric.

Before making my mind up about houses near train tracks, is there anything else I should consider? Anyone done it and regretted it or found it ok?

Edited by Guest
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I do know of people that gardens/flats back onto a main line track.....they do get used to it, and after a while, do not hear the noise so not a problem.....one thing to check out is vibration which is not good.....my mates flat used to shake when a train passed by, stood in the kitchen and the floor moved. ;)

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Noise can be an issue as you are aware. Sometimes 'awkward' loads or freight travels at night, something to think about. Possibly a bigger issue is the long term structural damage caused to buildings by railways. A surveyor once mentioned a figure of 100-150 ft is as close as you want to get to a railway. I am sure it depends on the type of ground, structure of the building, speed of trains, smoothness of the tracks etc. An aunt of mine lives next to the Norwich to London line and as the trains go past at 90-100mph you can feel the whole house shake. The building line of her house is 40 ft from the line. Be careful.

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In the area I'm keen on, I've seen a few properties whose back gardens back onto train tracks (the main south coast route). I know there will be a train every 10 mins or so, but nothing between approx. 6am and 11pm. The train are mostly pretty slow as the stations are less than a mile away in each direction. Also 95% of the trains are electric.

Before making my mind up about houses near train tracks, is there anything else I should consider? Anyone done it and regretted it or found it ok?

Train timetables can change, so you need to be careful. I am sure those living near the London Underground lines that are going 24 hours at weekends soon wished they were further away now.

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Train timetables can change, so you need to be careful. I am sure those living near the London Underground lines that are going 24 hours at weekends soon wished they were further away now.

Was working in a building with a lower basement and could hear and feel the underground train rumble past....felt like it was only a few feet away between the walls. ;)

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There is a trainline at the bottom of our garden.

However we only get 1 train an hour and they are only 3 carriages long.

I don't even notice them going past. I'd much rather a train line than a road. However were it the main route to London it might be different!

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Along the ground feeding the tracks? Hmm, hadn't thought about the affect on my hifi ..... yikes!!!

AFAIK the third rail supplies DC which does not generate an oscillating EMF

The Earth's magnetic field is 'DC'

Overhead is AC

Edited by chronyx
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Before we married my wife owned a house that backed onto a London overground line. She'd been there a few years and was completely oblivious to the noise, at first I found it a bit intrusive but after a few weeks I also just tuned it out. My guess is that after a short while of living there you'll barely notice the trains.

However, if there's any chance that you might want to sell in the near future, I'd be very wary about buying a property that backs onto a train line.

I'm not expecting a property crash, but if one does occur then any property that is blighted to the slightest extent becomes virtually unsaleable. This is what I saw during the 1989/95 crash. In a boom we're all just grateful to have our offer accepted, but when the market turns sour we all become incredibly picky, and unless the market's booming no one will touch a house next to a railway line. If the market stumbles then the idyllic Edwardian rectory with the south facing garden will still find ready buyers at a relatively high price, but you'll be stuck with the kind of unsaleable white elephant that will carry the majority of any house price correction.

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Trains going past are no trouble.

Maintenance is a whole different kettle of fish, and is a particular risk if you're near a busy depot/sidings. A train that just sits there making a lot of noise (more than a passing train) is really annoying, and they happen mostly at night because the tracks are busy by day.

Think of the difference between a passing ambulance siren and a persistent alarm.

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I once viewed an old railway cottage near a train line. The agent said you couldn't hear it. This was as the house was shacking. 'Earthquake' said the voice in my head. The house was very close maybe 5metres."

these are sort of "marmite" houses.

you either love em or you hate em

personally doesn't bother me to hear trains near the back garden,but not to everyones taste.

if anything living on a main road when you have police/ambualnces etc belching out sirens is far more distracting.

Edited by oracle
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I used to live in house with a garden backing onto a train track, although the track was elevated about two stories up. We had enormous trees at the back of the garden so people couldn't see us in the garden. The noise was loud if we were in the garden, for maybe 3 minutes twice an hour, but barely audible in the house, especially after we fitted a conservatory to the back.

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