The Economic Valuation of Train Horn Noise: A US Case Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, mode - rail


Valuation, Trains, Surveys, Residential areas, Railroad trains, Property values, Pennsylvania, Noise pollution, Noise control, Noise abatement, Noise, Neighborhoods, Horns, Decibels, Cost benefit analysis, Case studies, Benefit cost analysis


This paper provides a property value-based estimate of the dollar cost of train horn noise in a residential neighborhood in a small town, Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania. Residential property values are found to decrease by about $4800, or 4.1%, per 10 db of added noise exposure, for an aggregate total of $4,088,799 in 2004 dollars. The primary study was supplemented with information from a neighborhood survey. Dollar value estimates of train horn costs could prove useful in facilitating balanced benefit-cost analyses of horn noise abatement policies such as quiet zones, wayside horns, underpasses, or street closures.


Transportation Research Part D Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13619209