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Train noise
Old 28th December 2012
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Train noise

Hello, I'm trying to produce a quiet environment for listening to music (not so much recording), and I have an issue with trains. The train tracks are about 1400 feet away, and I get about 60db noise from train horns outside my house. I'm trying to drop this down by atleast 20-25 dB. I'm figuring I will install dual pane windows with different thickness of glasses, and use quietrock+acoustic batt for the walls. Quietrock claims to drop noise by about 40dB, so that seems ok. Can someone please advice me on what should I use for the different glass thicknessess to deal with the trains? My amateur meter says that most of the noise from the trains is in the 60Hz-2KHz range.

Thanks for any advice on dealing with trains.
Old 28th December 2012
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jim1961's Avatar

A guess on my part would be that you may make some significant (6-8db) headway in the upper region (800hz - 2k), but those lower frequencies are going to be problematic or next to impossible to deal with. I dont see a 20-25db decrease a realistic expectation.

If its the lower rumble that your most concerned about, moving is probably the only solution.
Old 31st December 2012
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hymenoptera's Avatar

agreed with jim, Not much can be done about trains. Especially the sub bass rumble. This is the weight of hundreds of tons of steel and cargo pounding the ground and is transmitted through the GROUND! My building sits on a concrete pad and the whole structure shakes when they come through at speed westbound. Eastbound is an uphill grade and it's mostly engine noise with all motive power presumably in the "8th notch". (yes, total rail nerd here) which doesn't give me as much trouble as the westboard RUMBLE. I'm only a couple hundred yards from this freight line that sees 4 to 10 trains a day, Mon - Fri. mostly during daylight hours.

The horns pierce thru the walls (two road grade crossings out here, four blasts EACH per US federal law, loooong loooong... short loooooooong), and I'm given up on trying to keep it out of my recordings. I just have to pay attention to their schedule.

The engine noise is the least of my worries. The loud roar of the turbos is mostly blocked by my think walls and such. Still, certain RPMs from the engines resonant my walls WOOOM WOOOOM WOOOOM WOOOMM and even rattle a window from time to time.

Brake noise is infrequent at my location, but the occasion SKREEEEEE comes through but only on westbounds picking up too much speed coming down the mountain.

If you really want to accurately predict when trains are coming through, pick up a radio scanner ("monitor"), handheld or desktop, and get with local railfans to find out what frequencies the railroad is using for communications. As I understand it there will typically be one freq for train conductors to transmit on, and another for dispatch to provide traffic control with. Once you're famliar with train numbers and mile markers you can listen in and predict when a train will pass based on clearance from the dispatcher.

I don't do this, but I've encountered many railfans using handheld monitors to get themselves in position to take the best pictures of trains (yes, ppl do this, and it's fun).

Unfortunately trains make a lot of noise, and there's not a whole lot we can do about that. They're the lifeblood of the world economies, there's still things trucks can't do such as bulk raw materials and affordable public transit, and until we find a better way to move a whole lot of something cheaply, they're here to stay.
Old 31st December 2012
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AwwDeOhh's Avatar

Can install one of these in your front window:

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