Would you buy a house backing on to a railway line?

(80 Posts)
cordiality Sun 06-Oct-13 10:58:39

We are currently looking to buy our 'forever house'. There is an area of north London that I really like, can just about afford, and have seen a house that could work. However, the garden is north facing and there is a reasonably busy railway like at the bottom of it.

I believe that there are a couple of freight trains per day, and lots of commuter trains (it's the silver link line).

Would this be a deal breaker for you? Is it hideous in summer? I just can't make a decision on this one, and I doubt the vendors would be keen for me to spend the night there just in case!

YDdraigGoch Sun 06-Oct-13 11:02:15

If you love the house, go for or. You'll get used to the trains and won't notice them after a while.

MousyMouse Sun 06-Oct-13 11:04:38

yes I would (and have).
have a good listen. nearer a station might be quieter (as trains run slowly), also look out/listen it the tracks split (loud rattatattat noise) or there is a curve (screeching noise). is the garden long? double glazing? have a look at cracks inside the house (from the vibrations).

we like: not having neighbours at the back, a long garden (for the area), a bigger house (compared to the other side of the street).

bamboobutton Sun 06-Oct-13 11:11:40

we lived near a busy train line, not backing on to it but about 30meters away.

you do get used to the noise. I even liked hearing the freight trains late at night and liked the screeching too, it was soothing and I enjoyed imagining who was on the train and where they were going.

specialsubject Sun 06-Oct-13 11:14:38

check on whether you can sit in the garden without being exposed to the gaze of all the passengers.

If it is a long garden and the house isn't shaking from the noise, not too much of a problem. If the garden never gets any sun, that might be more of an issue.

also is the station in earshot? The repeated announcements can drive you rapidly barmy.

Ezza1 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:16:20

I definitely would! I love trains <anorak> and would love to live by a track - by the seaside preferably.

<dreams>

Bowlersarm Sun 06-Oct-13 11:16:49

I think I would. I would prefer train noise to traffic noise.

Is the railway line the same level as the garden, or raised?

Preciousbane Sun 06-Oct-13 11:17:16

We are about to have a look at a house that has a railway line running along the side of it but well screened by mature trees.

I have lived with a railway line at the bottom of the garden and it was fine but was a quiet line and the railway drivers used to wave to us.

Rather a railway line than a busy road.

I would, but I love trains.

Beccadugs Sun 06-Oct-13 11:20:45

We back onto the Gatwick express line, it is not a problem at all. The trains go by at speed so no one peers in despite it being higher than our garden. You honestly don't notice it after a while.

trixymalixy Sun 06-Oct-13 11:22:27

Yes, I would and I did. You really don't notice the train noise after a while. I'd much rather back onto a train line than a busy road.

Theas18 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:23:07

Absolutely check if you are overlooked our even if the trains have a view into your bedrooms...in suburban London I'm surprised how much is at bedroom level!

Noise meh, you get used to ity or can triple glaze(I know and old couple in sheltered housing that is practically on the railway-you park your car next to the wire, but its a new build and insulated/triple glazed and silent inside.

Make sure the price is sufficiently lowered for the railway. My in laws live 6 large detached plots away from the railway (side ways on) and recently sold their amazing"forever family home" to downsize and took a significant hit for this, which I think surprised them add it doesn't bother them or visiting family at all.

Maybe get a proper structural survey too.

In summary yes I would but is try to do it with my eyes open. I assume lots of house in London/south London are in this situation though

Floggingmolly Sun 06-Oct-13 11:24:03

I did. It didn't bother us at all, but proved an absolute bugger to sell. A lot of people do seem to have an issue with it; but if it's your forever home go right ahead, it'll be fine.

TakingTheStairs Sun 06-Oct-13 11:29:16

I used to live in a house share with a train line at the bottom of the garden. The noise of trains didn't bother me at all but what I really hated was when there were works on the tracks. They were always done at night for understandable reasons but the work men were SO loud. They'd shout to each other with no consideration for residents at 2am and as it was quiet otherwise the noise used to really travel. I was woken with a start at least once convinced there was someone in our garden as they sounded so loud and close. They obviously weren't in our garden but it used to give me such a fright!

TallulahBetty Sun 06-Oct-13 11:34:17

I would and I have! My top tip is, once a week, pushing ornaments/anything on shelves right back, as the vibrations (however subtle/unfelt) will eventually bring them to the front grin

clam Sun 06-Oct-13 11:38:05

Isn't the Silverlink line in North London also the main line to the North? Meaning you'll also be getting high-speed Virgin trains zooming past? I used to live further along that line and, as others have said, got used to it very quickly (better than the constant noise of a busy road), but I didn't like gardening up the top end near the fence as those high-speed trains gave me a jump every time!
<wimp>

We live near a busy railway line.
I love the sound of the trains and find the sound of it really soothing. When we go away on holiday DS complains that he can't get to sleep without the sound of the trains grin

morethanpotatoprints Sun 06-Oct-13 11:41:25

We had a railway cottage when first starting out.
When we moved it was amazing how many people were surprised by the proximity to railway. "The clues in the address" grin

It was very old 1851 and the walls about 3 bricks thick.
A developer bought land next to us and when the builders were working on the new houses they had to come down to the ground as the shaking made it too dangerous to work, when a train was going through.
Newer houses are a night mare and we wouldn't have bought one of those.
If it is your forever house definitely you are ok, but if you think you may want to sell at some point, it can be difficult and took us a long time.

Helpyourself Sun 06-Oct-13 11:44:10

Came along to say I would. Then I remembered I did, very happily for 10 years! I never think of the noise when I remember that house.

cordiality Sun 06-Oct-13 12:04:23

Wow, this is incredibly helpful, thank you. The house is higher than the line, so you look down on the train, definitely no one peering in at me in my nightie! Also the line curves away at that point as it comes into the station, so it's a bit further away than it is from the houses further down the road. Yes, it's really near the station, but I hope not near enough to be able to hear announcements!

It's not on a northbound branch of the silver link, just little stations east to west.

The resale point worries me. This house has been on the market quite a while, v unrealistically priced at first, but maybe this is the issue now. It does worry me because my kids are only tiny, who knows what tomorrow may bring, I really don't know that forever will be forever!

Dh used to have a flat backing onto a train line in North London, and I stayed there quite a bit - and I definitely found I was tuning out the trains, even the freight trains.

Plus your children might enjoy watching the trains go past - all of my dses were little train maniacs, and would have spent every waking hour watching the trains, if we'd had a house backing onto a railway line like that.

Mildpanic Sun 06-Oct-13 12:16:21

We are about 3 gardens at the back away from the main East Coast London to Glasgow/Edinburgh line. I also find it quite soothing to hear the trains and catcha a glimpse as they whizz by. It is a straight bit of line so I think that makes a difference. We don't get disturbed by the train noise at all, we are really very used to it. The freight trains through the night are nice to hear if I can't sleep.
The deal breaker for me would be a north facing garden, much prefer a south facing. I would also be very concerned about resale value, which obviously isn't an issue if it is your forever home.
Friends have bought close to railway lines and have all got much more for their money so definitely worth proper consideration.

southeastastra Sun 06-Oct-13 12:17:43

i used to live right near a sidings yard and the flat literally shook everytime a train went in. would not do it again!

dyslexicdespot Sun 06-Oct-13 12:19:40

I would and DS would be over the moon if he could see and hear trains all day long.

littleoaktree Sun 06-Oct-13 12:30:05

We back on to a railway line in SE London which is lower than the house, line is in a cutting. In the summer we can't really see the trains because of the trees in the cutting so it looks and feels like we back onto woodland which is quite nice. The noise of the trains can be a bit annoying but tbh no worse than the planes (even though they're not that low here). I'd buy another house that backs on to a railway line because you can usually get a bit more house for your money and I love being only a few mins from the station for getting around.

What I wouldn't like is a train that's literally right at the bottom of the garden or one that goes higher than the garden - we looked at a few houses like that and discounted them because of the trains.

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