Home Buying in Westminster>Question Details

whiteeagle358, Home Buyer in Denver, CO

Westminster railroad tracks

Asked by whiteeagle358, Denver, CO Sun Apr 29, 2012

I'm considering buying a home in Westminster, but it's 1/2 mile from a railroad track. How loud would the whistle noise be at that distance? Thank you!!

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I live 1 block away from a railroad crossing on the Westminster track. When I first moved to my house the whistle seemed quite loud. My home had single pane windows and no insulation. When I installed double pane windows, the noise decreased dramatically. The noise also got a little quieter with the addition of insulation. I do not feel any vibration of the ground. When my home is closed up, I do not notice the sound at all. When I am outside, I do have to stop my conversation until the train stops it's whistle. The track that goes through Westminster, (BNSF) has far fewer trains running on it than the UP track that runs through Arvada. If I was to buy a home 1/2 mile from the track, I would expect that the only time that I would notice it at all would be when I was outside. The sound and inconvenience should be no worse than living by a major road or hiway.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 21, 2013
Thank you for all your replies - I appreciate every one!

I'm wary of railroad noise because I've spent many nights across the street from multiple RR crossings where whistles were blowing literally every 5 minutes. However, 1/2 mile is pretty far from "across the street". I'm going to park somewhere near the house and see just how loud the whistles are, but in the meantime I'm being positive. If 4 blocks is what most people will accept, it should be OK because this house is 8 blocks from the crossing.

Thanks again, all!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
That's Perfect. Another thing to consider is the age of the home that you are buying and if it has new windows or not. I sell a lot of brand new homes where Jets from Buckley Air Force fly over. When I am outside and they fly over it's soo loud that you can't be on the phone, but it amazes me that when I am inside those brand new homes, they are so well built that they aren't annoying at all. You can hear them but not enough that you would need to turn the volume up on a TV. If you can find out what time of day the noisest of trains come by, you may be able to tell the Sellers you are very interested but want to be in the house when the trains go by before you make an offer. They want to sell the home, they will probably be fine with that.
Flag Mon Apr 30, 2012
If the actual crossing is 1/2 mile away, I would expect that it would be quite loud. As others have said, you may get used to it, but it will always affect re-sale price of the house. Arvada has implemented 'quiet zones' but I haven't heard any talk of this in Westminster. It's very expensive to do. You might try calling the City to ask if there are any plans to implement a quiet zone at that crossing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
You may want to find out when the trains come through and go sit in your car near the home you want to buy and decide if it is something that will bother you or not. I am Under Contract with Buyers right now, who just did the same thing near the tracks by Aspen Grove in Littleton. They want the house for their forever home and they want that location, within walking distance of all the shops. They are getting the home for a lower price then similar homes in the area and they will have to remember if they ever want to sell it that the price will need to be lower do to it's location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
This is a great question! Surely, you can see that the answer to "how loud would it be?" is very subjective - to some people it is loud and for other is not.

From the opinion of a Realtor (I always think of how hard a house would be to resell if my client bought it) - 4 blocks is far enough away that it would not deter most people. You, are one of the people who may be deterred. If it bothers you now (enough to post a question on trulia), and you don't own the house, how much will it bother you once you move in?

Just my opinion, absent many details, and trying to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
When I was much younger I lived at some apartments that backed to the tracks and only once in a great while did it actually wake me up at night, I got used to them and seemed to miss them when I moved!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
Thank you for the fast reply!

The crossing is 1/2 mile from the house. I was there (at the crossing) when a train went by and it was incredibly loud. But I'm wondering how fast the sound would dissipate. I live about 20 miles from there, and it's hard to just hang out and hope a train goes by, but I suppose I could...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
Depends on where the crossings are. They normally only blow their horns at the crossings. Best bet is to hang out awhile, see if you can catch it in action.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
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