High Speed Rail Noise versus Freight Noise

I watched some of the city council meeting last night and train noise was a pretty hot issue, one of the bullets the Five Points residents were firing off as to why they were against the NC3 option. What I hope, very much hope, is that the good citizens in the Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood and the Five Points neighborhood are against the noise coming from a high-speed train and do not think it sounds the same as a freight train.

If you are not caught up on the high-speed rail corridor debate, hit the archives tagged SEHSR here.

I support the NC3 option, with the added removal of the Hargett Street bridge, and want to wait for more details about this new NC4 option before I even touch it. I think some more investigation with this noise issue is needed because Norfolk-Southern, who is against the NC3 option, has definitely helped organize the citizens in the previously mentioned neighborhoods against new trains going through here at all. They are obviously concerned about their interested, very little or not at all concerned about ours.

A comparison has to be made here; freight versus passenger trains. In my opinion, these higher capable speed trains WILL sound different then the freight trains that go through there. This comes from my experience riding and being around trains in Asia. The passenger trains are built better probably because people will be on board and not cargo. You don’t get the clatter and clacking noise from freight trains. Hopefully NCDOT can provide better data on noise because I thought they did a very poor job answering the council’s questions about train noise last night.

Here are some random videos that are relevant to this topic. You can make up your own mind.

Freight versus High Speed rail Noise Impact on the Frankfurt-Cologne line.

Diesel cross-country train going through Shawford Station

A very quiet electric locomotive leaving a station.

Similar Posts:


Comments are disabled here. That's because we're all hanging out on the DTRaleigh Community, an online forum for passionate fans of the Oak City.


  1. One point that people in the area should be made aware of is that the “high speed” trains travelling through Raleigh will be going at least 30 mph slower (if not close to 50 mph slower) than the approximately 155 mph high speed trains filmed in the clips above. So, that could make a significant difference in noise levels in the area, as well.

    If it were up to me (which it isn’t, obviously) we’d have HSR trains with top speeds of over 200 mph like they have in Japan and China.

  2. Enough of the surrounding citizens of downtown Raleigh input. Build it! There is no option, we (all of us) need an option and light rail is the option.

    If you live around downtown and can’t deal with a little noise, MOVE!
    Sick of these whinning people slowing down progress (and these extensive town meetings. This B.S. has been going on for decades and WE still have not broken ground (where are the plans for Raleigh Union Station?)
    Get some you know what city council, wake commissioners, etc.. Build IT and build it RIGHT!

  3. Excellent comparison. I have been saying it for years, but our rail group is clueless, diesel and freight rail NO, light rail YES.

    Hey, would love to see this line go right through the center of five points (with a rail stop in the middle of the 5 streets that intersect).

    Agree with Thomas: Stop your pathetic whinning, nothing special about five points, no entertainment, shopping is awful and maybe two restaurants. Remove all those ugly buildings and two sad looking gas stations in the 5 points intersetion and build an entertainment hub leading to downtown.
    Hey 5 Points citizens, you should be complaining about those gas stations which are an eyesore. Great area with two gas stations side by side (property values should be lower), how did that pass city council years ago (let me guess, a councilman owned the property)

  4. The inherent problem with Five Points residents is that you are looking at the “old money” party of Raleigh. They do have some pull in getting what they want so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get what they’re asking for.

    To be fair, I lived in Five Points for a few years and they aren’t bad people. Everyone I met was really friendly, but they are generally slow to accept new development.

    If anything should be torn down in Five Points, it’s the AudioBuys building.

Comments are closed.