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Old 13.11.2015, 14:02
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Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

To cut a long story short I just went to see a delightful apartment that is available in central Adliswil. The apartment is in fact a maisonette, and almost completely separated from any other resident so in essence it is just like having your own little house, complete with attached (and very long) garage, boiler and storage room, a balcony joining on to the living room (enclosed like a conservatory), and a good sized rooftop balcony that would be perfect for having friends over and grilling. It even has, surprisingly, a cool airflow system running through the entire house that delivers fresh cool air form the basement. Oh, and it has it's own washer and drier in the bathroom (yay).

The only real problem is, well...... that it's around 7 metres away from the train tracks, and about 50m down from Adliswil station.

Now, the current tenants have been there 10 years. She told me that she was also initially worried about the noise, but her husband persuaded her to give it a chance and in the end she loved it so much that they stayed for a decade.

The good thing is that the house is well insulated and the master bedroom is furthest away from the tracks. I did stay to listen to the train and with the windows closed it was barely noticeable, but with the windows open it was of course noticeable. From the rooftop it would also be noticeable, although it is higher than the tracks so alleviated somewhat.

I also noticed that the house exterior and all of the interior ceilings were wooden, which means that if there is a fire, it will potentially go up like a candle. That makes me a tad nervous.

Finally, the kitchen was somewhat compact... not "tiny" but definitely compressed and with a smaller dishwasher than normal. I love to cook so kitchen is definitely important.

In summary, here are the pluses and minuses of the apartment:

TL;DR

Pluses:
  • It's a maisonette, separate, can make as much noise as you want.
  • Like living in your own little house.
  • Has it's own washer and dryer!
  • Has a boiler, big garage, and walk-in storage area in hallway.
  • Has a decent sized balcony that is enclosed like a conservatory for Winter use (although facing tracks).
  • Has a roof terrace of good size that would be amazing for grilling.
  • Adliswil is nice and not too residential or far from HB.

Minuses:
  • Next to train tracks so train noise inevitable with windows open.
  • Kitchen is rather compact and lacking in storage space.
  • Ceilings and outside of building are thick wood, untreated, which poses major potential fire hazard.

On the one hand, the prospect of having my own pad with no worries about noise from neighbours etc is incredibly tempting... on the other hand the proximity of the train tracks.

So, what are your thoughts... do you think the pro's outweigh the cons, or vice versa?
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Last edited by Chuff; 13.11.2015 at 14:13.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:07
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Next to the train. . Not a chance!!!
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:11
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

IMHO
Get over to the place around 5-6pm one weekday - and judge the noise for yourself while standing outside. Specfically:
- You'll also be close to the bypass
- You'll also be close to the high street
- Stopping/starting trains make a different type of noise to passing ones
- At peak time the trains run every 10mins each way - Adliswil is one of the few double points on the line - so you'll have arrival 1, arrival 2, departure 1, departure 2 noise in quick succession.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:12
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Well, if all else fails you need some sort of air-condition during the hot summer nights. Because I can't imagine sleeping with open windows next to a train-track.
Also, during the night you have less passenger-trains and more freight-trains.

Wouldn't worry too much about the wood.
Most people dying in fires die of the smoke anyway - and that exists regardless of what the building is built with (there's enough stuff to burn inside the house)....
You can install a smoke detector.
Ask the previous tenant if there are smokers among the other tenants.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:14
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

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Next to the train. . Not a chance!!!
I know, that's what I always say too, but... but...

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IMHO
Get over to the place around 5-6pm one weekday - and judge the noise for yourself while standing outside. Specfically:
- You'll also be close to the bypass
- You'll also be close to the high street
- Stopping/starting trains make a different type of noise to passing ones
- At peak time the trains run every 10mins each way - Adliswil is one of the few double points on the line - so you'll have arrival 1, arrival 2, departure 1, departure 2 noise in quick succession.
Yeah that also crossed my mind... 2x trains every ten minutes in peak hours. Not an appealing prospect in Summer.

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Well, if all else fails you need some sort of air-condition during the hot summer nights. Because I can't imagine sleeping with open windows next to a train-track.
Also, during the night you have less passenger-trains and more freight-trains.

Wouldn't worry too much about the wood.
Most people dying in fires die of the smoke anyway - and that exists regardless of what the building is built with (there's enough stuff to burn inside the house)....
You can install a smoke detector.
Ask the previous tenant if there are smokers among the other tenants.
It does have an air circulation system that is as close to an AC system as Switzerland allows!
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:18
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

IMO the sound of the passenger trains isn't a problem, it's a fairly soft noise that's not too obtrusive.

Freight trains however wail like a banshee and at that distance would be unbearable.

Unfortunately I can only raise the potential problem, not actually help as I have no idea where to find freight train timetables...
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:21
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

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IMO the sound of the passenger trains isn't a problem, it's a fairly soft noise that's not too obtrusive.

Freight trains however wail like a banshee and at that distance would be unbearable.

Unfortunately I can only raise the potential problem, not actually help as I have no idea where to find freight train timetables...
There are essentially no freight trains of regular note, only the S4 passenger train. Once or twice a year they run a steam locomotive as a historical thing.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:22
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Homegate Ad
Location

Poststrasse gets plenty of traffic first thing and in the evening - from commuters to SwissRE and Generali. Sihltalstrasse is at that point an 80 zone (IIRC). The trains are also onto the single-track section so you'll be getting passing noise (at peak times) every 6 minutes.

Get yourself down there and see what you think. The place itself looks really nice.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:23
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Surely Adliswil is one of the better places to live next to the railway as the trains are slow and there's hardly any through traffic?

It's not like the main line to Chur, is it?

Anyway - here's the live map

Buses may be more annoying and more frequent if the place is next to the main road too.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:33
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

How about asking the current rentors if you can pay B&B for a couple of days and try it out? Why not? Just be straight with them- that you love the place, but are seriously concerned about noise. Say you will sign immediately with deposit after your trial, or walk.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:34
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

I think you would get used to the trains. My dad lived in London with trains going by the back window. He'd say "there goes the xpm from to place"... it was kind of like a living watch like church bells. Is it to rent or buy? It looks to me like the outside needs treatment on that wood so if you're buying make sure the renovation pool has been paid up to date. It sounds like you have some good pros there. It looks bright & modern. You could use the garage as extra storage space for things that don't fit in the kitchen & put a cupboard in for tins of food, equipment etc.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:36
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

I knew several people who lived very close to the railway in & around Zurich & was always surprised how little overall noise the trains made. I would not rule it out.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:52
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Is this to rent or buy? It matters, because if you are buying then some buyers will be potentially put off with the same worries you have, even if ungrounded.

Of course, this will matter if renting too, but a purchase is a more sizeable and risky investment.

Good luck though.
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:59
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

Quote:

Poststrasse gets plenty of traffic first thing and in the evening - from commuters to SwissRE and Generali. Sihltalstrasse is at that point an 80 zone (IIRC). The trains are also onto the single-track section so you'll be getting passing noise (at peak times) every 6 minutes.

Get yourself down there and see what you think. The place itself looks really nice.
Thanks for posting the ad, very considerate and necessary of you...

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I think you would get used to the trains. My dad lived in London with trains going by the back window. He'd say "there goes the xpm from to place"... it was kind of like a living watch like church bells. Is it to rent or buy? It looks to me like the outside needs treatment on that wood so if you're buying make sure the renovation pool has been paid up to date. It sounds like you have some good pros there. It looks bright & modern. You could use the garage as extra storage space for things that don't fit in the kitchen & put a cupboard in for tins of food, equipment etc.
The garage was already used as storage space by the current tenantsand still fit in a normal sized car...it was pretty damn long...

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I knew several people who lived very close to the railway in & around Zurich & was always surprised how little overall noise the trains made. I would not rule it out.
Yeah, I live next to Sihl City which can anyway be noisy, and this apartment is MUCH better specced...

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Is this to rent or buy? It matters, because if you are buying then some buyers will be potentially put off with the same worries you have, even if ungrounded.

Of course, this will matter if renting too, but a purchase is a more sizeable and risky investment.

Good luck though.
lol, to rent... I'll nowhere near the buying stage yet!
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:02
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

we live in Adliswil, like 40-50 meter away from the train rails.
it doesn't disturb us at all.
our bedrooms are on the side that doesn't face the rails and even when sleeping with an open window this is not disturbing at all.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:03
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

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we live in Adliswil, like 40-50 meter away from the train rails.
it doesn't disturb us at all.
our bedrooms are on the side that doesn't face the rails and even when sleeping with an open window this is not disturbing at all.
This place is around 10m away with no obstructing buildings, and the train line is on a level with the living room... it would probably be louder than where you are.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:06
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

We had a similar decision to make a few years back when we saw a beautiful house in Eiken, AG. It ticked all the boxes and was competitively priced, the only issue was that it was about 10 meters from the railway tracks.

The owners were obviously fine with the noise and he mentioned that trains were either accelerating or decelerating towards the nearby train station so never that loud. However I did suspect freight trains might be an issue offpeak and I was right. I went along after midnight and just waited in my car, in the hour I was there I heard two very long and very loud freight trains go buy which even shook the windows of my car.

Sleeping with your windows open in the summer would be impossible, so I walked away.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:07
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

You won't have to share your washer, dryer, entrance etc with other people. And you are even debating? What's wrong with you??

Trains, you'll get used to. Humans, not so much.

Go for it, I say.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:07
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

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Well, if all else fails you need some sort of air-condition during the hot summer nights. Because I can't imagine sleeping with open windows next to a train-track.
Also, during the night you have less passenger-trains and more freight-trains.
.
I don't think there are many freight trains going into the Sihltal these days. At most there will be the occasional maintenance train making some noise during the night.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:12
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Re: Facing a quandary over a new apartment... it's next to train tracks... thoughts?

A good thing about living next to trains is that you generally don't have to worry about making noise yourself.

Considering that most of us have to spend so much time worrying and walking on eggshells, the location could be a positive rather than a negative.

You could hoover at midnight, take up yodeling - just think of the possibilities!
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