When choosing hotels or other temporary accommodation (e.g., Airbnb) in the United States, I'm sometimes concerned regarding the noise that nearby trains may make. E.g., some train tracks are unused, barely used, heavily used. Trains may never, rarely, often, systematically horn at some location. Etc.

How can I estimate how much noise nearby trains will make, assuming that the reviews of the place don't mention it and that I don't trust the hosts to disclose the information accurately? E.g., is there any train noise map?

Assume I can't drive to the location of interest and observe the noise level throughout the day.

  • In the US, trains are required to sound their horns four times at every road crossing. If you're looking at hotels near a busy line, you'll want to avoid such crossings.
    – phoog
    Apr 3, 2022 at 17:43
  • @phoog that's indeed my main concern. What makes it difficult to estimate the resulting noise is that it's not for all crossings and that the annoyance depends on the frequency and times of the trains, as well as the nearest crossing where trains honksm. up.com/real_estate/roadxing/industry/horn_quiet/index.htm there are other challenges eg honk level db may differ Apr 3, 2022 at 19:00
  • Check reviews on usual travel/booking websites Apr 4, 2022 at 11:13
  • Thanks, let's assume that the reviews of the place don't mention it (the place is new and has barely any reviews). Apr 4, 2022 at 11:46
  • The noise is going to be massively affected by the sound insulation so this question is unanswerable as intended. Apr 14, 2022 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


There are other noise sources besides trains: traffic, party zone, construction, etc. So a train map alone won't guarantee you a quiet room.

Your best shot for this type of thing is to read customer reviews on Tripadvisor, Google, etc. If there is excessive train (or other noise), it will show up there.

The trick is to focus on the low-rating reviews, ignore the entitled complainers, and look for recurring themes. This will not only reveal noise issues but any other downside of the hotel, like room size, value, design, service etc. (which may or may not matter to you).

  • 2
    For reviews in general, I generally discount 5 star and 1 star. 5 star reviews can be people pushing the business/service/product, and 1 star reviews can be people with an ax to grind (or in some cases totally unrelated to the business/service/product)
    – Peter M
    Apr 3, 2022 at 13:25
  • 2
    Various railroad enthusiast sites discuss number of trains per day on various segments, and may even comment on scheduling.
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 3, 2022 at 15:17
  • Thanks for traffic, I can estimate somehow on Google Street view and for party I can look for nearby club/bar. Constructions indeed tend to be an issue but one has to be quite unlucky (it did happen to me several times though so I definitely sympathize). Apr 3, 2022 at 19:05

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