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Old 25.01.2010, 19:41
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Living Near Railway Tracks

Hello, everyone!

We're considering buying a new apartment. Some of the places we saw were quite close to the railway tracks (~100 - 200m). My question is, how soundproof is modern Swiss construction? Would you be able to hear (and feel) the trains go thundering by through closed windows? Do bear in mind that these are all newly constructed houses (or are still under construction).

I'd be grateful for any inputs or any experiences you can share with me.

Thanks!
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Old 25.01.2010, 19:52
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

Cant help you with your question but if i was living near railway tracks i would leave the windows open. The sound of trains relaxes me and helps me sleep

Ok im strange
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Old 25.01.2010, 19:53
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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Hello, everyone!

We're considering buying a new apartment. Some of the places we saw were quite close to the railway tracks (~100 - 200m). My question is, how soundproof is modern Swiss construction? Would you be able to hear (and feel) the trains go thundering by through closed windows? Do bear in mind that these are all newly constructed houses (or are still under construction).

I'd be grateful for any inputs or any experiences you can share with me.

Thanks!
Don`t
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Old 25.01.2010, 19:55
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

- Depends on the construction of the house (age, etc.)

- Depends on how sensitive you are to noise.
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Old 25.01.2010, 19:57
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

I have been into several fairly modern houses quite close to railways. I haven't noticed any particular noise.

Modern energy saving laws will also men improved soundproofing.

Don't forget to consider the summertime with windows open or sitting in the garden or on the balcony.

The level of noise will vary depending on the type of line. Most of the main lines with continuously welded tracks and electric rolling stock should be reasonably quiet.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:03
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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I have been into several fairly modern houses quite close to railways. I haven't noticed any particular noise.

Modern energy saving laws will also men improved soundproofing.

Don't forget to consider the summertime with windows open or sitting in the garden or on the balcony.

The level of noise will vary depending on the type of line. Most of the main lines with continuously welded tracks and electric rolling stock should be reasonably quiet.
I live in a modern apartment and can't hear the trains about 500 meteres away. However, you must consider that most of the year round you will want to open the windows or it will be too warm or will be stuffy because new construction is that way.

We had a chance to move into an apartment that looked down on Lake Geneva just east of and above Lausanne. Unfortunately it also was right above the rail link and the trains went by whilst we were viewing the apartment. It didn't sell us on the place.

Good Luck,
Brian.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:05
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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Hello, everyone!

We're considering buying a new apartment. Some of the places we saw were quite close to the railway tracks (~100 - 200m). My question is, how soundproof is modern Swiss construction? Would you be able to hear (and feel) the trains go thundering by through closed windows? Do bear in mind that these are all newly constructed houses (or are still under construction).

I'd be grateful for any inputs or any experiences you can share with me.

Thanks!
My experiences:

My UK house is next to the railway (20 metres). The railway is on an embankment 6 metres above the roof of the house.
Because of the height of the railway embankment the noise is not bad as sound waves go over the roof.
My house is on the market for sale and has been on the market for two and a half years.
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/2030662
A lot of people coming to view the property ( and some don't even knock on the door) state the railway is a concern to them though they are surprised how quiet it is.
It is relatively quiet with normal double glazed sealed units and the modern trains are much quieter (railway line is Euston to Birmingham with fast Virgin trains on it).
The estate agent when valuing my house also stated that if it was not near the railway, its value would be another £100,000 on the asking price.

Obviously when I purchased it, I was young, and was not bothered personally about the railway. and screwed the owners down on price as knew they had a bridging loan on the house at 12%.

My lesson has been; whenever you buy property, you have to concider resale of that property; and as those TV Property shows state:

Location Location Location.
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Last edited by Cashboy; 25.01.2010 at 20:29.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:06
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

live about 30 meters from one. you get really used to it. I cant even hear it.
now when u consider buying keep in mind it might affect resale value....
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:18
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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My experiences:

My UK house is next to the railway (20 metres). The railway is on an embankment 6 metres above the roof of the house.
Because of the height of the railway embankment the noise is not bad.
.....
A lot of people coming to view the property ( and some don't even knock on the door) state the railway is a concern to them though they are surprised how quiet it is.
That is a fair point. The visual impact could be more important than the noise, especially if you are purchasing rather than renting.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:40
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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- Depends on the construction of the house (age, etc.)

- Depends on how sensitive you are to noise.
It's a new construction, so I'm assuming whatever they'll do in terms of sound insulation will be as good as it gets.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:45
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

Cashboy (and others who agree with him), thank you very much for your very insightful reply. Perceptions on railway proximity may be different here from the UK, so I will ask someone in the real estate business for an appraisal before I proceed.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:48
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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It's a new construction, so I'm assuming whatever they'll do in terms of sound insulation will be as good as it gets.
When dealing with property in Switzerland, never assume.
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Old 25.01.2010, 20:50
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

Hi,

The noise is one issue. Possible electro-magnetic fields are another. It is possible to meter the electric field in the house (a bit costly, however...).
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:06
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

A friend of mine has an apartment in Meilen with a gorgeous view of the lake. Unfortunately, it is also just right by the train tracks. I went for a visit one afternoon and whilst the sound (no rattling) of the Sbahn passing by every 15-20 minutes was irritating initially, it became white noise after a while. For me anyways.

Personally, I wouldnt buy - not sure about the situation here but back home, being near something so noisy devaluates your property price if you intend to sell it in the future. I would however, rent if it has a view to die for
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:07
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

Some years back, I rented an apartment for a few months overlooking a mainline here.
Some observations:
1. Check the frequency of the trains. One every thirty minutes is one thing. Four an hour or more is another.
2. Check the type of trains which use the line. Modern passenger trains are fairly quiet. Long goods trains squeal like hell.
3. Check amount of traffic on the line during the small hours. Sound travels a lot further in the dead of night. If there are goods wagons on the line you'll hear them.
4. Be honest with yourself about your tolerance to noise. We got used to the noise but some people don't. Everybody's different.
5. Trains are big, heavy, long things which create quite strong air currents as the pass by. A big problem living close to a railway can be the dust they throw up, believe it or not. How bad depends on the landscape. Something to consider if you like to have your windows open in the long, hot, dry dusty summer.
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:12
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

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Some years back, I rented an apartment for a few months overlooking a mainline here.
Some observations:
1. Check the frequency of the trains. One every thirty minutes is one thing. Four an hour or more is another.
2. Check the type of trains which use the line. Modern passenger trains are fairly quiet. Long goods trains squeal like hell.
3. Check amount of traffic on the line during the small hours. Sound travels a lot further in the dead of night. If there are goods wagons on the line you'll hear them.
4. Be honest with yourself about your tolerance to noise. We got used to the noise but some people don't. Everybody's different.
5. Trains are big, heavy, long things which create quite strong air currents as the pass by. A big problem living close to a railway can be the dust they throw up, believe it or not. How bad depends on the landscape. Something to consider if you like to have your windows open in the long, hot, dry dusty summer.
Hey Nev!

Thanks for the really useful reply. I was in fact looking some of those details at the moment!

Off-topic: Err. . .how do I "thank" someone on EF? I'm only a software engineer, so I can't be expected to figure out such complex tasks by myself.
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:18
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

You need a minimum number of posts before the thanks button is enabled. I think it's ten posts but I'm not sure.
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:20
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

you need some more posts and then u can thank...

My house in the USA was next to the railroads also. It was bad tho. If you know the trains ion the USA , they are long. We lived near the loading dock and the locomotive (4 of them hooked together would go back and forth 50 meters or syo to load and unload, or to hook up new trailers..... we were literally right next to it. reach distance......one night they were doing their whole thing and it was so load. 50 carts banging into eachother it knocked out my room windows....god am i happy not to live there anymore


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Old 25.01.2010, 21:24
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

If the house is near a turn or bend on the tracks, then stay away. I stayed in a business apartment for 2 weeks that was 100 m away from a railway track, and there was a curve section of it, the trains screech on the turns.

Now I am in a rental that is about 150m away from tracks, but its a straight section, thats no problem, there really isnt much noise at all, I dont notice it, nor do my visitors.
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Old 25.01.2010, 21:29
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Re: Living Near Railway Tracks

I live very close to train tracks...about 10-15 metres. It can be noisy and I don't have the windows open as much as I would like.
Trains go all through the night on weekends, handy when I want to get home from the pub...not so great when I'm trying to sleep
If you are near a station there will be people noise as well as train...and yes I can feel the trains go by when I'm sitting on the floor!
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