Who lives next to train tracks?

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Jul 16, 2006
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Redding Ca
So my SWMBO and I bought a new house about 7-8 months ago. Its kind of up on a hill and below the house about 400 yards away down in the canyon are the train tracks. When we looked at the house I was concerned they were going to bother me but we loved the house and decided to go for it. Fast forward now 7-8 months and I will tell you I LOVE the train! It is so nice to hear it. Its not LOUD or obnoxious in any way. Don't get me wrong you can hear it clear as a bell but MAN have I been enjoying it. I can sit on my back deck and hear it coming and just wait for it. Now keep in mind there isn't a whistle spot anywhere near us, those are a good 3-4 miles away.

So who lives next to the tracks? Do you LOVE it? or hate it?

Not train tracks, but I grew up close to SFO (major airport). Most days there was a decent amount of jet noise, never bothered me but after I moved I realized how quiet the middle of the night can be.
i live near a train station and i rather i didnt. doesnt really bother me much but when that loud bastard goes HAM on its horn, i find it annoying AF.
I used to live somewhat close to tracks. We were far enough away that we only heard the horn from them, and at our distance it was a very relaxing sound on a warm summer night.
My wife and I bought a house next to some tracks back in 2001, we had some concerns about the tracks but after time we didn't even notice it, we even subdivided our property and built a big ass house even close to the tracks. It is a slow speed zone and the train only comes by twice a day so its not as busy as it could be but I love the train.
I work on the railroad I could probably put a sleeping bag next 2 the tracks and go 2 sleep and not even notice a train was there
My house is about 2 miles from the tracks, and I hear it every once in a while, but I'm so used to it that I just don't notice it most of the time. Like you said, as long as you're not right by the whistle spot, you'll phase it out after a while.
I do live ~200 yards from the CTA/Metra/Freight line that goes into Chicago, but there's a building in between mine and the tracks so it cuts the noise down a bit. The CTA and Metra, you can barely hear. The freight trains that run at night can, surprisingly, be soothing.

OTOH, the office I'm currently working at is less than 100 yards from train tracks. About 90% of the trains that go by are freight.. and they go by at least once an hour.. and it always seems to be right at the time I'm trying to go to lunch or leaving for the day. Walk out the door and hear those damn bells ring, welp, guess I'll go back in for a few minutes.
I live within a kilometer of a fire hall... not so nice when those big trucks pull out 3 or 4 times a night sirens and horns blaring. It does however reduce my insurance premiums... i used to live bu the tracks and it never bothered me. I have always had a child like fascination with trains though.
I have lived in Golden CO for 4 years now (I love it!). The town is really surrounded on 3 sides with mountains, and the Coors trains come in to town on the open side of the valley. When they blow the train whistle (I hear it only about once every few weeks), it sounds clear as a bell throughout the entire town/valley. I love it and it always makes me visualize those cheesie Coors light commercials from a few years back with the train blowing through and winter and a party follows in its wake!
My In-laws were renting a place right by the tracks/beach when their new house was under construction and I loved it (and it didnt seem to bother them either). It was great sitting on the balcony, drinking a beer while the sun set over the ocean and watching the train pass by. The only time it got "annoying" (and thats a bit of a stretch of the word) was when we were trying to watch a movie during the summer with the windows open and the 9:30pm freight train would go by. Theyre quite a bit louder and have a tendency to shake the whole building.
I rented a cottage right next to a train station way back in the mid-80s. The sounds were something we got used to quickly and learned to ignore for the most part... No problem. Then two things happened, hubby and I started looking for a house to buy, and some poor soul was killed by a LIRR train. I don't recall if the death was an accident or suicide, but the train engineers started blowing the whistle extra loud and what seemed like extra times. Couple that with finding a house to buy, by the time we moved we were tired and annoyed by the train! We live about a mile from a train station now, can listen for it or not. It's all about how you want to experience things. Enjoy!
My grandparents were near train tracks and my Grandpa worked for RR at one time. I always loved trains and enjoyed the tracks being nearby.
I live about a quarter to half mile from the tracks. I occassionaly hear it but it doesn't bother me in any way. The nearest whistle stop is a couple of ridges away so I only rarely hear that. Also I'm slowly going deaf (I played my rock n roll too loud) so that's another thing. Mostly only hear it if I'm outside and it's quiet in the neighborhood.
My last year in college, I lived in an apartment right next to the train tracks. Got to where I didn't even hear the trains at night unless I listened for them.
I'm 55 yards from rail, I always lived in the same house so it's 22 years that I hear the train a comin'n rolling round the bend (Cit Johnny)

Joking, now I don't pay attention to the train, so I can't say I love it neither I hate it
Poor people, that's who lives next to train tracks. :p

We lived about two miles from an elevated crossing for a while. Now, we live about two miles from the tracks through town. We hear a soft sound of heavy coal cars rolling over the tracks on quiet nights.
The "farm" I grew up on was next to the railroad track. Um. Nearly on it. About two dirt road widths away from the house. We loved it, for the most part. Got to see some really interesting trains go by throughout the years. However, when I go home now for a holiday or so, if I spend the night.. those things are terrifying. They never used to wake me up but now they do every time. Had no issue when I lived there though... unless one snuck up behind you while you were mowing the lawn for a few hours and completely zoned out.
first part of my life I lived near Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota. then we moved into Rapid City and I had a hard time falling asleep without the planes. when My wife & I moved to Wyoming, we lived near some tracks. those coal trains went by day and night. her aunt & uncle visited us and stayed in a motel in town. her uncle couldn't sleep on account of the trains. now we live about 3 blocks from the tracks and don't even notice most times.
My whole town lives by the tracks, basically. I'm about 1/2 a mile from them. Love the things. Used to climb the trestle that runs over the creek that runs through town to see how close we could get to the train. I had one arm over a tie when one passed. Last time we did that.
My wife and I used to live by the tracks and the freeway, the trains were nice but the freeway was so annoying. Now we live miles away and I miss the sound of trains.
When I was living in Brooklyn, the back of my apartment building faced the B/Q subway stop at Prospect Park (maybe 50 yards), and my apartment was on the back. The sounds of the trains coming through and/or stopping was somewhat of a comforting noise after only a little while.

I actually missed the noise when I moved back to NC!
My house now is about half a mile from some tracks, so we hear the train horns every once in a while. I like it a lot, not being US born and raised somehow the sound of freight train horns got associated with an image of America, so I'm reminded of that every time I hear one.

I also cross the tracks on my way to work. Its nice to catch a coal train so long as I'm not running late. Some days they seem to go on forever
I used to live really close to a bunch. Would vibrate the house. Don't remember it really bothering me, just the way it was. Only thing that sucked was driving and waiting 20mins at the tracks for a train to pass. Then a couple of times per year one would stop and it'd be a good 40 min ordeal.
We live about a block down from the tracks. You can hear the trains going through and the warning bell chiming in the night, but it's not distracting or annoying. I kinda like it. What I don't like, though, is coming home at the end of a long day and standing outside in the snow for 20 minutes waiting while a train passes :(
edit: Just re-read the above post. 40 minutes is much worse!
I grew up in a house on the side of a freeway. It used to put me to sleep. Now I need a white noise generator to sleep otherwise it's too quiet!
Not train tracks, but I grew up close to SFO (major airport). Most days there was a decent amount of jet noise, never bothered me but after I moved I realized how quiet the middle of the night can be.

I lived in the flight path to Orange County Airport...the planes flew so low over my apartment, it was rad. Once a plane misjudged the landing and took out about 1/3rd of the row of car dealerships right near my apartment. The planes didn't bug me either, I never noticed them when I was looking at the place and I was surprised when I saw one. Like you, it wasn't until we moved that I realized how quiet it was at night. SNA has a curfew though, planes can't land or takeoff between 10 pm and 7 am, at least that was the case when I lived there.
When I was a kid we lived by the tracks and a cannery. For a few months every year the town smelled like stewed tomatoes and you could hear the trains adding or dropping boxcars anytime day or night. Clouds of steam always seemed to pour out the cannery stacks accompanied by a loud hissing sound. None of this bothered me as a kid.

When not canning produce they canned soda. Since everybody had a grandpa, aunt or cousin who worked at the cannery, there was always a supply of free "out of spec" canned sodas for us kids. The cannery had plenty of large sheets of cardboard, broken pallets and other junk left laying around the loading dock next to the tracks - valuable building materials to 10 year olds.

Friends and I had a thing with the hobos; always tried to get one of them to notice us whenever an open boxcar went by. One morning we found the remains of a campfire (not ours) at one of our forts in a cluster of trees by the tracks. We thought that was the coolest thing.
I have to say I am not surprised at how many people like it. It is funny I find myself on the back deck, smoking a cigar, drinking a beer listening to the horns off in the distance in town and timing them to see how long it takes to get by my canyon. Some are just RIPPING through there and some are really not in a hurry at all. Some LOUD, SO loud you just stop talking on the deck and some are SUPER quiet. Its cool. I really am enjoying it.

Love the stories guys!

Not sure if you can see in the picture but I just took this picture about 10 min ago with a train going by. Its funny it looks so much closer in the picture than it is really.
Its the faint yellow in the canyon.

Not sure if you can see in the picture but I just took this picture about 10 min ago with a train going by. Its funny it looks so much closer in the picture than it is really.
Its the faint yellow in the canyon.

Looks pretty close to me. I'd probably love it.
We live about a half mile from the tracks. Our oldest son is a conductor for the same line, when the train comes thru laying on the horn it makes me wonder if he's on it this time.
I've got you all beat.

Until I moved five years ago, I lived in a cozy little neighborhood in Glen Burnie, Maryland, just south of Baltimore.
I was two miles from the Baltimore beltway, and half a mile from I-97 (major north-south freeway to Annapolis).

I was also a few miles from BWI airport, and in a major flight path- a neighbor's house actually was badly damaged by a single engine plane crash.

Not enough? I was a block away from a "light rail" train station, which is essentially like other elevated commuter trains.
And the pièce de résistance, I shared a property line with a busy fire department.
I grew up about two blocks from railroad tracks. I used to love listening to the long freight trains at night.

This was the mid 60's and hobos still rode the rails. One time my two brothers and some neighborhood kids were playing in a vacant wooded lot next to the tracks ( our hang-out ) and ran into two hobos. they ask us if we would go ask our Mother to make some sandwiches for them.

We said "OK", ran home and told our Mom about it. She made some for us to take back to them. But when we got back they were gone.

I think they got spooked, thinking that the police might show up.
They missed out on some good sandwiches!

Nowadays Mothers would FREAK OUT if their kids ran into hobos in the woods.
Everything is a contest in the right frame of mind.
Besides, plenty of others comparing airport woes to rail line livin', so I figured it was in decent enough company.