Reducing Train Noise At Home: A Soundproofing Guide

For those that live near train tracks, whether in the city or in typically peaceful suburban areas, the roar and whistle of a train passing through has the ability to disturb even the most tolerant of us. With many relying on trains for commuting, transportation of goods, and even cross-country travel, there’s no chance of these noisy vessels disappearing any time soon. If you’re not quite ready to pack up and move to an area free of locomotives, you’ve likely found yourself searching for how to block out train noise in your home in a way that is quick and economical. Fortunately, there are a number of options for those that wish to reduce train noise at home.

Why all the Ruckus?

While there’s nothing pleasant about waking up in the middle of the night to the blasting of a train’s horn, it is important to keep in mind that those howling whistles are used as a safety precaution. In fact, it is mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that all trains must sound their horns between 15 and 20 seconds prior to entering a highway-rail grade crossing. When traveling at speeds greater than 60 miles per hour, it is required that trains sound their whistles at least a quarter mile away from the upcoming crossing. What does this mean for the lucky residents in the area? It may seem as though the prolonged noise never stops.

Depending on the train noise reduction solution you choose, the method you select for your home should take into account that the average train whistle is between 90 and 110 decibels, significantly louder than typical city noise. The following methods can assist in your efforts to reduce train noise at home, whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a more permanent solution.

Fill the Gaps

While you may be aware that filling gaps under doors and windows can help with preserving heat and blocking drafts in the winter, filling these open spaces is also a great way to reduce train noise at home. Door sweeps and seals are easy to install and affordable, making them the perfect short-term train noise reduction solution for houses and apartments – and every effort helps! 

Invest in Quality Carpets & Drapes

You’ve likely spent time considering which carpet and drapes will match the decor of your home, but have you taken into account their ability to reduce train noise at home? It is true that the right carpet and drapes can, in fact, work wonders for train noise reduction. While a great carpet can absorb noise from below, heavy drapes and curtains are capable of reducing echoes. It is recommended that drapes be hung on opposite sides of the room to trap even more noise. You’ve laid your carpet and hung the drapes, but what if you want to take your home’s noise-cancelling abilities to the next level? Fill your house or apartment with plants, soft furniture, and fabric wall applications to absorb even more of the ruckus a passing train emits.

Spruce Up the Yard with Fences and Trees

Another simple addition you can make to reduce train noise at home is to surround your house with a fence. While you may be skeptical that this barrier could prevent such loud sounds from entering, outdoor fences are in fact effective for diminishing sound waves before they reach the walls of your house. For those that don’t want to make such a large investment, consider planting trees or shrubs along the side of your yard closest to the train tracks. Like the fence, these natural barriers will absorb much of the sound waves from the train before they have a chance to seep into your home.   

Install Soundproof Windows

While short-term solutions such as door sweeps, carpets, drapes, and fences are capable of minimizing the train noise that enters into your home, if you’re planning to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, it may make more sense to invest in a long-term train noise reduction option. Many homeowners wondering how to block out train noise eventually find themselves considering soundproof windows.

Soundproof windows are an ideal solution for addressing train noise issues as they are long lasting, highly effective, and easy to install. Soundproof windows are so effective in use for train noise reduction due to their unique design that effectively buffers sounds that would otherwise permeate your walls and seep into your home. Soundproof windows offered by CitiQuiet, for example, are expertly constructed with laminated glass to stop sound vibrations and provide extra insulation.

Without requiring any alterations to your existing windows, CitiQuiet’s soundproof windows are installed into the existing interior opening a few inches away from the existing window. This creates a space of air that effectively isolates the soundproof window frame from sound vibrations by adding a cushion of air between the two. This design and construction can successfully eliminate virtually all exterior noise, meaning disruptions from the scraping of metal and deafening train horn will become a thing of the past.

Don’t be Derailed by Pesky Train Noise

While regular noise from passing trains may start out as just an annoyance, these constant interruptions and disruptions can have serious implications for your health and well being in your home- especially for those on highly-trafficked rail lines. Sleepless nights, fussy kids, and unfinished work can all result when train noise reduction precautions are overlooked, stopping you from enjoying the oasis that should be your home. Take the next steps towards peace and quiet by investing in simple solutions such as adding door and window seals, indoor and outdoor plants, or surrounding your home with a fence.

For the best method to reduce train noise at home, find the soundproof window option that is right for your home and budget. CitiQuiet proudly offers a wide range of soundproof window solutions designed with train noise reduction in mind. Contact our team of knowledgeable representatives today to identify the windows for your home that will bring the peace and tranquility you deserve.

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