Ok House is located about 1 miles from the intersection.
What could we do to reduce whistle noise?
In case of the new construction....
Buy a lot somewhere else.
Otherwise, offset 2x4 walls with double sheet rock on the interior, sprayed cellulose for the majority of the insulation, and really good windows is about the best return for your dollar for keeping exterior noises out. And as a bonus, your energy costs will be quite low from all of the extra insulation.
Realize that no matter what you do, some people will still be able to hear the train. They are more sensitive to the low frequency vibrations, and those carry a long way.
We are about a mile from train tracks. I can sometimes barely hear the whistle in the house if it's the middle of the night and everything is quiet, but it's not so loud I mind it. We are in the North and our house is well insulated, but I don't think they took the precautions hollysprings mentions when it was built.
When we're outside, the whistle is about as loud as a police car or ambulance driving up the main street about 2 blocks away, to give you some perspective.
Are you planning to build a two-story house? The 2nd floor of our house vibrates when a train passes. It's not awful (actually my husband didn't believe me when I first mentioned it to him because he hadn't noticed), but if you had the option, I'd suggest considering a one story floor plan.
We currently live in a neighborhood that borders train tracks. There are several train tracks in my area, so it's just part of living around here. We are several blocks from the tracks, less than a mile but not bordering. The train thankfully doesn't usually blow its whistle near our development. I am aware of it, but it doesn't bother me at all. My kids LOVE trains, and they never comment about the choo-choo when we're inside- outside they usually get excited about it and tell me. (They also point out every airplane, siren, and bird! lol) I am sure our little starter house was not built in any special way. Actually, I hear the vibration right now. Not much different than hearing a helicopter in the distance or some spin cycles in our washer.
I'm much much much more bothered by all the barking dogs in the neighborhood. What is up with people who insist on leaving barking dogs outside all the time?!?!?!
I will tell you 2 things that help a lot (and this is not based on science).
Brick as your siding. If you were doing that anyway or considering it, it really helps.
Impact windows. These are hurricane windows that have a gel between the panes of glass. They aren't exactly available in a variety of styles and they are roughly twice the price. But if you can make it work, it really helps.
There are really 2 issues and OP was just asking about the whistle. The whistle is a lot easier to deal with than the vibrations/low frequency noise.
I think ICF is your best route for the vibration issues.
I'd have to suggest ICF construction as well. It does wonders to limit noise and vibration on the inside. Well built windows and doors will also do wonders.
There are companies out there that do sound-proofing for homes near airports. It might be a good idea to see if you can track some down and see if they have any information published on the methods they use. I know it's generally retrofits they do, but I'm sure some of things are applicable to new construction.
Thank you guys,
Hurricane windows are not exactly available in Indiana, but I 'll check on that.
I don't think I can use brick.
Some may disagree with me, but in my opinion: nothing looks worth than Craftsman style house that was bricked.
Well may be federal style house with vinyl siding, or stuccoed Colonial Revival.
I am curios, may others don't think that way....
I was hoping for 1/2 EXPS on outside of house sheathing.
We're 700 feet from one set of tracks and about 1200 ft. from another, which also includes lots of shunting. A couple months after moving in, we barely noticed the sound. When I do, I can get all teary and nostalgic. When I was eight living in rural Ohio my buddies and me ran down every Saturday to the end of the street to wave at the engineer of the afternoon freight. He'd always wave back and regularly toss us a pack or two of gum.
OP Consider hiring a noise consultant.
Make sure you really really love the lot you have choosen. Could you find one in a different location? Do you plan on selling the house in the future? The location may be a deal breaker for most in a resale situation.
Do you have any babies, or plan on it? Imagine getting a crying cranky baby finally to sleep....then....tooot toooottt, house shaking, train going by... and then the baby is up.
Things to consider.
I just watched an episode of "Sarah's House" where she purchased a home in the city and a train track bordered the back of the lot. Frequently, trains roared past. Before she renovated the home, you couldn't carry on a conversation inside the house when trains were going past. She brought in a consultant and he recommended thicker glass on that side of the house. I know they redid the insulation (it had been degraded newspaper) when tearing everything out in the 100+ year old house, but I don't think they beefed it up.
You could barely hear the trains after this.
I don't remember the specifics except the glass thickness was 4 & 6 something in thickness (millimeters maybe?).
You can find these episodes on HGTV's website.