How To Reduce Train Noise In Your Home: 5 Methods

Hearing a train clickety clack down the track reminds me of sleepless nights when I spent a short time living next to a train route.

It seemed the only solution back then was to move home, but this isn’t an option for everyone.

Luckily, these days there are plentiful options to combat the powerful high-frequency sounds created by trains.

No matter if you live in the city or suburban areas, train noise affects a lot of us.

A distant rumble can be just as annoying as a deafening screech, especially when it’s several times per hour.

Let’s look at how this regular thunderous sound can affect our lives and how to reduce train noise in a number of ways. 

Problems Train Noise Can Cause

how to reduce train noise

Train noise is much more intense than your regular city noise, so it can cause a range of issues, including:

  • Sleep disturbance: While sleep is a vital biological function, for many people, sleep is a prerequisite for leading a satisfying life. Train noise can affect people of all ages and lead to sleepless nights or a poor quality of sleep—which can affect all areas of your life. 
  • Lack of concentration: Excessive noise can lead to a lack of productivity and concentration, as well as anxiety, stress, and discomfort. If you’re working or studying from home, the train noise pollution can affect your performance.
  • Decreased property value: Yes, living near a train station is beneficial for commuting and is an important consideration for house buyers. But if you don’t want to live next to the track because of the noise, do you think other people want to? The value and appeal of a property that’s affected by train noise is decreased, unless you can find a way to improve the day-to-day experience of the home.
  • Health issues: Chronic noise, such as train noise, can lead to hearing impairment and impact your heart health. Reduce the level of noise in your home to decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease. 

5 Ways How To Reduce Train Noise

We’ve come up with the five best ways how to reduce train noise in your home.

If you combine the methods, you’ll get the most soundproofing, but each are effective in their own right. 

1. Spruce Up Your Yard

A simple solution to your train noise issue is by installing a good sound blocking fence and planting trees, hedges, and shrubs in your yard—if you have one.

These will act as barriers that diminish soundwaves before they reach your home and prevent noise from entering. 

garden trees deflect sound

Placing the fencing and trees closer to the tracks will help block some of the train noise before it comes close to your home—meaning you can enjoy some slightly quieter outdoor time in the yard, too.

Choose your fencing wisely: thick, dense materials will do best, such as concrete walls or timber fences (pair it with mass loaded vinyl for a more effective solution). 

2. Install Sound-Blocking Windows

While it may require a large investment, installing soundproof windows in your home will change your life.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution on how to reduce train noise and other external noise pollution, products such as double glazing, triple glazing, and specialized sound-blocking windows are your best bet.

windows

Using thick glass, layers of dense materials, and insulated air gaps, they have a significant impact when it comes to reducing noise.

Train noise is high frequency, meaning it can travel through glass easily.

If you live near a train track, this option is highly recommended as it’s effective against sound, long-lasting, and relatively easy to install—no matter the type of building you live in.

The same goes for if you have French windows, replace them with sound-reducing options or explore some ways you can soundproof your existing windows

3. Get Thick Curtains and Rugs

This is one of the easiest ways to combat noise pollution from trains.

Curtains and drapes aren’t just a decorative feature in your home, they can actually reduce echoes and are a great defence against high frequency noise.

blue pleated velvet curtain

The same goes for carpets and rugs, as they soften the hard surfaces within a room that reflect sound and spread it.

Any noise coming from below can be absorbed by carpets, and noise coming through the windows can be absorbed by curtains. 

Look for thick carpets and drapes, as these will have the best sound-reducing properties.

To quieten your room even more from echoes and noise, add soft furnishings, indoor plants, and fabric wall hangings. 

4. Fill in Any Gaps

Check your walls and exterior doors for any small gaps and fill them in—this will help with both insulation and noise pollution.

Use an acoustic sound sealant to really make sure no airborne sounds will get through those gaps again.

Make sure you check outlets and openings all around the property; you never know where you’ll find little cracks and holes.

Also check out your doors and windows as this is an easy way for drafts and noise to enter your home.

Use tools that are affordable and easy to install, such as door sweeps and seals, and window plugs to eliminate sound transfer. 

5. Quick Fix Solutions

If you’ve had enough of the train whistles waking you up in the middle of the night and are desperately searching for an answer, here’s a couple of quick options that will help you until you invest in a more long-term solution. 

  • Ear plugs: These will reduce a small portion of the noise, depending on how close you live to the train track. Use these at night to help you sleep without disturbance until you can soundproof your home better.
  • White noise machine: It’s not only babies that use these to relax and sleep, many people swear by them. Playing a white noise machine will mask background rumbling sounds and will bring you an essence of calm.
  • Soundproofing blankets: These come in decorative designs so you can hang them over doors, walls, and even windows for effective soundproofing. 

Noise No More

Unfortunately for those of you that live near a train line, the noise never stops.

Trains must sound their horns before crossing, and the whistle and rumble of the movement is inevitable.

On the flip side, there are some things that can be done to improve your quality of life.

It’s better to invest in long-term solutions such as soundproof windows, outdoor barriers such as hedges and fencing, and thick curtains and carpets.

These are ideal for blocking out the high-frequency sound of trains and making your home a quieter place overall.

Also make sure to check the structure of your property for any gaps or cracks that can be sealed. 

Prevent sleepless nights, grumpy children, stress, and unfinished work by soundproofing your home against train noise.

If you need something to help you right now, our quick-fix solutions are ideal to help you get through the next few days or weeks until you can get to to the more permanent options.

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda,

I'm Dan, I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out.

This is my place to document what I've learnt on my soundproofing journey.