Comment of the Day: Keep Those Trains Moving by My House, Please

COMMENT OF THE DAY: KEEP THOSE TRAINS MOVING BY MY HOUSE, PLEASE “This is a great photo of the cars that Union Pacific parks behind our neighborhood on a constant basis. I’ve been fighting them for 1 1/2 years now about leaving running refrigerated cars there overnight. Those suckers are LOUD. Yeah, I understand the track was there way before my house but we didn’t have this problem until UP started using it as a delivery point for a local distributor 2 years ago. Miserable sleep for 10 households just so UP can save a few bucks. When the cars aren’t running, I actually enjoy the constant change of scenery. We’ve seen some pretty interesting stuff back there.” [JenBen00, commenting on Headlines: Affordable Housing Demos; Young Houston]

17 Comment

  • I’ve heard of not being able to SEE the forest for the trees, but not HEAR the forest for the trees.

  • It’s difficult to understand why developers build and people buy homes right beside railroad tracks.

    Oh, I forgot, the land is probably cheaper there and folks just luv a bargain.

  • Sounds like you live on the wrong side of the tracks.

  • No disrespect to this person who lives by tracks, but I’m willing to bet the train tracks and railroad had already been there for many years before these folks moved into the property. Do your due diligence before you move into a property. Years ago I looked at one home that was about 20 yards from the tracks that run through West U – sure the price was lower than other homes farther away from the tracks – but I declined to purchase. It all comes down to location, location, location.

  • Double pained windows, and or don’t move near the tracks brain trust.

  • My cousin has lived on Childress right behind the tracks for 20 years and has NEVER had a fridge car set up shop overnight. Thay have enjoyed the circus trains as well as the dewberries that seem to love the railroad track soil and have no regrets whatsoever. This sounds like a valid complaint. Considering the celebrated lack of zoning, there should be a business site closed at night on the tracks somewhere amongst the residential patches to park these cars behind.

  • I’ve lived near railroad tracks twice, once in college with the tracks about 20ft from my back door. It wasn’t a big deal and was only noisy for a few minutes a few times a day. That can be reasonably expected.

    It’s another thing altogether to forsee having running refrigerated train cars parked behind your house overnight.

    If a meteor fell from the sky and demolished your house I think some people on this board would smirk and smugly say “Well, you built your house in the earth’s atmosphere so you must have known this could happen. Should have done your due diligence, brain trust”.

  • Guess they never heard of the Railroad Killer? Good luck bargaining with Union Pacific. The CoH has been trying to get them to stop blocking traffic at rush hour for years.

  • Apparently, Super D, you didn’t read the entire post or you would have seen the sentence, “Yeah, I understand the track was there way before my house but we didn’t have this problem until UP started using it as a delivery point for a local distributor 2 years ago.” Or were you practicing selective perception and only reading what you wanted to read?

  • Sell your house and move?

  • I’ve lived in big cities before (though on the west coast and in Europe) and the trains here are the loudest I’ve ever heard. I mean real loud. We live in the Heights and can hear the trains blowing their horns all night inside our house. Does it have something to do with how flat Houston is or how the railroads are laid out? Also, while we’re complaining, why so few elevated train crossings?

  • Marcy, I was practicing selective perception and only reading what I wanted to read. My apologies. I need reading glasses.

  • It’s a railroad track. It is a bundle of known issues, known unknown issues, and unknown unknown issues (the latter describing unimaginative thinking). That a set of tracks could be utilized by a different class of freight user should have fallen into the known unknown category, right along with the possibility of abandonment, conversion to transit, implementation of a quiet zone, leaks of toxic or flammable chemicals, or derailment.

    If you want to live next to the tracks, that’s all fine and well. More power to you. But don’t whine because they’re operating within their rights and you failed to anticipate the risks. I have no patience for that.

    My advice: insulate for sound as best you can and then play white noise tracks on a multi-channel bedroom stereo.

  • TheNiche has probably the most constructive set of recommendations.
    Here’s few more to consider:
    1) Move your bedroom to the side of house farthest from the track. That shouldn’t cost much.
    2) Install soundproof windows made with laminated glass with a large air gap between panes, at $250-750 per window. Check with neighbors if anyone had already done that.
    3) Use earplugs like on a long overnight airplane flight. Cost $1?

    If all else fails, see if you have any endangered species animals in your backyard and if you do, write to the Environmental Protection Agency about noise pollution. An animal has some chances of getting protected.

    As to the “quiet zone” it’s only about trains not blowing a horn at road crossings.
    Somewhat relevant info is at

  • I’d rather not make excuses for you, and your poor decisions. Deal with it, is the only advice I’d offer.

  • I moved into a house that is a stone’s throw from the tracks. Outside, it’s super loud when they pass. Thankfully, it’s a quiet zone (or else we’d be up all night) unless some idiot decides to drive over the tracks with a large trailer hitched and gets stuck…which has happened. Of course, the trained wailed it’s horn so the entire earth could hear it from miles away still leaving no time for the ridiculous truck driver to move his piece of junk off the tracks. Oh and that time the taxi broke down, stuck on the tracks, (darn the luck) and 2 people bailed while the car got slammed by a Tropicana train. Oh the city life. BUT, I knew what I was getting into. And, truth be told, I am a renter.

  • I really like TM’s suggestion to look for an endangered specie in the backyard.