Flats backing onto the Haywards Heath line

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jam88888, 19 May 2015.

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  1. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Hi,

    I'm looking to buy a refurbished flat which literally backs onto the Haywards Heath mainline. It is right next to the station, so the trains won't be going past at speed but slowly chugging in. The flat I am looking at, I would guess is around 20-30 metres away from the line, with a few of flats in front of it (same block).

    I've seen the showroom flats and they seem to be well insulated and with double glazing windows, I heard a few coming in whilst there and they didn't seem too loud, but hearing them during the day and at the dead of the night isn't the same. I also heard a couple of Express trains rushing through the station which were quite loud, but this is fine if they don't go through after midnight.

    My other concern is as they are refurbished, they may not be as sound proof as purpose built flats, but I am by no means an expert in this area!

    So I was hoping anyone with knowledge of the Haywards Heath line would be able to advise on the following:

    - How loud trains stopping at the station really are
    - Whether there are any freight/milk trains on the Haywards Heath line after midnight
    - How many Express trains go through the station during the night if any (again, after midnight)
    - Does anyone actually live close to the line, if so, what are your experiences?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  2. bolli

    bolli Member

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    You can see what goes past on a typical day on RTT: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/HHE/2015/05/19/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt
     
  3. theking

    theking Member

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    My friend used to live right next to the line at Gidea park he said you get used to it but in the summer with the windows open its a pain and when ever I was round I always thought I wouldn't be able to put up with it
     
  4. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    - loudest would be the ardinley freight or trains passing at speed
    -only frieight is the ardinley freight or diverted services into Crawley new yard.
    - most weekends an empty 377 sits in the siding North of the station
    - non stopping 4 tpe in each direction, none after midnight.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. thelongestroad

    thelongestroad Member

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    Am I the only one that assumed this thread was going to discuss wheel flat noise pollution?!

    You might hear some flats from your flat though.
     
  6. doningtonphil

    doningtonphil Member

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    It is amazing what you get used to. When I lived with my parents we lived within a mile of East Midlands Airport. This was at a time when they did unlimited testing of engines at night and engines were certainly nowhere near as quiet as they are now. We used to not even notice them but guests coming to stay would say 'what was that that took off in the middle of the night...it was so loud'.
    Bizarrely enough, I stopped over recently and I too was awoken by the aircraft noise (despite it being a lot quieter than I ever used to experience)

    So, whatever the noise, you will get used to it and not even notice it. unless you allow yourself to sit/lie there listening for it, in which case it will drive you round the bend
     
  7. Alan.w

    Alan.w Member

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    Dont forget the maintenance work on the track too :|
     
  8. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Thanks for this link. Unless I have read it wrong, there appears to be quite a few freight trains running through Haywards Heath after midnight.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Do you know if this will be throughout the night?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Thanks. Having looked at the real train times timetable, there appears to be several freight trains running through after midnight, I'm hoping I've read it wrong. Looks like you have a good knowledge of the station, any chance you could clarify if this is the case?

    Thanks again.
     
  9. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    Haywards Heath is a busy station, but it is worth noting that the majority of passenger trains are electric and will be far less noisy than a diesel train.

    In all honesty, what I think you really need to consider is if you want or need to be so close to the station? If you do, then do you honestly feel you will be able to tolerate the noise? While most people do get used to the noise not everyone does.
     
  10. neilm

    neilm Member

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    Yes since the BML line is busy 7 days a week large amounts of maintenance is done at night. Also are these the flats in Boltro Road? Careful with the new Waitrose/Car Park/Bridge works as well, some station works are done at night as well.
     
  11. sammyg901

    sammyg901 Member

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    I used to back on to the WCML and it was OK day to day, you get used to the noise.

    Where it was quite an issue was in the heat of the summer - you couldn't reasonably sleep with the windows open.

    Track maintenance was the major issue though. They don't usually give you any kind of warning and it is super noisy - taxis to friends at 2am to try get some sleep a couple of times.... Would very carefully consider it myself if there were alternatives
     
  12. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Yes it's the new flats on Boltro Road. I went for a viewing a few weeks back, the flats are great, but as you can see I have an issue with the trains.

    I didn't consider the work on Waitrose/Car Park/Bridge being carried out at night, thanks for the advise. It seems with the maintenance work too, there may be too much activity going on to make it worthwhile

    Would you know how much maintenance and how much work on the Waitrose/Car Park/Bridge is actually carried out? e.g. how many days a week
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  13. neilm

    neilm Member

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    They are nice.

    Regarding Waitrose/Car Park/Bridge it seems to be Monday - Saturday 7am - 3pm(ish) - However I think the platform works are out of hours, someone might be able to confirm this.
     
  14. FordFocus

    FordFocus Member

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    Working on the railway, I would certainly never buy directly to it purely for engineering work during the night. Especially if you live near a set of points or major crossover.
     
  15. neilm

    neilm Member

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    The junction was renewed last year ;)
     
  16. Fincra5

    Fincra5 Established Member

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    Its kinda like living on a busy road or near the airport... you get used to the noise I guess.

    Electric trains aren't too noisy (ignoring the horn). And I think freight tends to run during the day time(?).
     
  17. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Thanks. I don't know the Haywards Heath area that well, but I've been looking for property close to the station. What your are your thoughts on the flats? i.e. are they desirable given how close they are to the rail line and is the Boltro Road location a good part of Haywards Heath?
     
  18. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    I am familiar with the whole Brighton Mainline, which includes Haywards Heath. You will find that the vast majority of freight trains (which are in any case few in number) will run from about 0430 to about 2300, usually towards the middle of those times, but a couple possible early in the morning. As above, these will mostly consist of freight to Ardingly (a short single-track local freight branch which actually used to have passenger services) or one-off services. Non-stop passenger trains will indeed be the particularly noisy services, but late-night trains all stop at Haywards Heath.

    What you think are shown as night-time freight trains on the RTT site are for the most part "paths" (ie. planned slots/timings) for test trains and railhead treatment trains. The former will vary and run from time to time, especially over the next couple of years with testing of new Thameslink trains IIRC, but probably not frequently through any given night and maybe not on an especially regular basis. The latter are trains used during spring for weedkilling and during autumn / winter for keeping the lines clear of leaf residue and ice. You will typically have those pass through Haywards Heath on a few days per week, usually a couple of times a night and not usually much more except during very severe snow/ice conditions. The local railhead treatment trains (abbreviated on here to RHTTs) are for the most part small diesel multiple unit trains composed of two coupled wagons, which make a brief humming noise on passing.

    Any particularly noisy maintenance should be briefed to you by means of a flyer or (very occasionally) door-knocking from Network Rail or their contractors. Because trains in the small hours of the morning on this part of the route are sparse, you may find that engineering timings are more flexible for track patrols and minor maintenance, so there may be some talking, road-rail vehicles moving around, and perhaps some noise such as you might find if there were a small workshop in the vicinity, except that the work is actually on the track itself.
     
  19. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Hi, this is really helpful, thank you very much.

    Regarding the freight train times on the RTT, if my understanding is correct, you're saying more "paths" will be used over the next few years but not on a frequent basis? Also, if they are testing the Thameslink trains, will they be stopping in Haywards Heath or still passing through?

    The flats are close to the station, so is there a lot maintenance currently or planned along this part of the track? And is noisy maintenance quite rare?

    Apologies for all the questions, just trying to get my facts right before pursuing the option of the flats. Thanks again.
     
  20. Bishopstone

    Bishopstone Member

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    I have lived in properties backing the railway at Hornchurch and Upney: the latter very close indeed to a primary running rail.

    1. I got used to it.
    2. I can't recall any issues in the summer with windows open, although I don't go to bed until midnight, as a rule, when most of the action is over.
    3. As others have said, engineering work/track replacement is a total nuisance, albeit an infrequent burden. It will sound as though the gangs are trying to make as much noise as possible, believe me!
    4. There will be some impact on value and marketability when you come to sell, although less so for flats than family homes. That said, a property alongside a convenient station like Haywards Heath will always be in demand, not least from buy to let investors.
    5. The developer should be able to advise you of the soundproofing standards deployed in the conversion. That will normally form part of the building regulations sign-off. Seek professional reassurance from a surveyor as necessary.

    If all else stacks up for you, I would be inclined to go for it.

    (But I will already have claimed one of the best seats at Lewes. Sorry!)
     
  21. 3141

    3141 Member

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    When I was a child we lived in a house backing on to the Piccadilly Line between Southgate and Oakwood stations. My brother and I slept at the back. The line is on an embankment and it was probably at the same height as the upper storey of the house; it was about 100 feet away. Tube trains in the 1940s were noisier than today and there was no continuous welded rail. We very quickly got used to it. The only thing that disturbed us after that was overnight work.

    We had open windows during hot weather. You will have double glazing which will reduce the noise normally, but you'd notice the difference if the window was open.

    But what no-one can tell you is how YOU will react. I wouldn't worry about buying a flat in such a situation, but it's theoretically possible that you'd follow advice on here (like mine) and then find that buying the place had been a mistake.
     
  22. neilm

    neilm Member

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    They are desirable, anything in Haywards Heath is because of the trains basically and the area. Boltro Road is fine as you have Sainsburys and Leisure Centre near by. Although check for smells from take aways along that road as there is two maybe three?
     
  23. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    No problem! I would expect some paths to be used at night, but probably by no means every night. The testing paths do involve some stops at Haywards Heath but these do not necessarily have to take place in reality. I would not expect too much noise, though.

    As for maintenance, it's hard to say, because whilst major closures are planned many months in advance, minor maintenance can change within a matter of days per requirements for incremental upgrades or fixing/tweaking infrastructure. As above, there will be maybe a couple of "blockades" (longer-term closures) per year where it will really sound terrible, but even so, if you've ever done a night shift or something else where you've needed to sleep during the day, you'll have an idea of a strategy to cope.

    I would say the only really major project I'm aware of is the renewal of station facilities. Quite a lot of track and signalling renewals have been done recently.
     
  24. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
    I used to live right next to the South Wales Main Line at Lawrence Hill in Bristol, with Valenta engined HST's being opened up wide to make 'em screeeeeeam, coming up the hill out of Temple Meads, and all sorts of diesels coming through late at night, and you know what? After about a week, I didn't even notice they were there.

    Don't get yourself worked up about it, that'll make you more nervous about it. If you like the flat, take it. You won't even notice the trains are there after a bit.
     
  25. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    One more question, I promise! the couple of "blockades" per year, how long are they likely to be?

    Thanks for your help so far.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Thanks all for your replies, extremely helpful, much appreciated!
     
  26. BzRail

    BzRail Member

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    I normally catch the 5.31am Thameslink from Haywards Heath. I had noticed during the new multi-storey car park build there always seemed to be one or more noisy (petrol/diesel) electricity generators left running all night, I assume for lighting/site security. Recently it has been quieter, not sure if this is just the lighter mornings or if they now have grid power with the multi-storey being partially open.

    This is always a risk near a building site like this. The new footbridge is not due to open until late next year I believe, I guess Waitrose and the new road layout is a similar timescale.

    There is some night freight running. The Ardingly, where the loco runs around in HH station, plus sometimes one or two other stone/aggregate trains run through fast between 5 and 5.30 am, but not every day. Others have explained the realtimetrains site, so I won't repeat it all.

    Best of luck anyway.
    Cheers,
    Barry.
     
  27. redbutton

    redbutton Member

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    I'd say just make sure that you've got an exit plan in case it turns out worse than you thought. There will always be strong rental demand right next to a major station in case you need to move away and rent it out, as long as your mortgage allows you to (or you can remortgage or sell if not).

    But as others have said, the railway shouldn't be a huge nuisance for a well-insulated new-build flat with double-glazing, especially if it has aircon so you don't have to sleep with windows open, and even more so if your actual flat is on the side of the building facing away from the railway.
     
  28. jam88888

    jam88888 Member

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    Turns out there is no permanent car parking, only potential options are free parking at station car park for 10 years or potentially paying for private parking somewhere close by for ten years. This is probably more of an issue than the noise! Thanks again for the advice.
     
  29. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Yes, night-time engineering works can be very annoying, funnily the noise of workers shouting to each other is far more noticeable at 2 in the morning than during the daytime!
     
  30. acg5324

    acg5324 Member

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    There are also freight trains to and from Newhaven that pass through Haywards Heath. These seem to be running nearly every weekday.
    Having lived next to a busy road, the A23, I'd certainly rather have rail over road noise.
     
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