Railroad Style Apartment: Features & Characteristics; Decide on a Housing Choice

Railroad Style Apartment

If you're tired of the exorbitant prices of your own home and unreasonable rent prices, there's a versatile option for you — a railroad apartment. We try to convince you that such apartments are not only a great financial option, but also a good opportunity to live in an open, comfortably furnished space.

What Is a Railroad Apartment?

In railroad-style apartments, the only exit from one room is to the other room, with the exception of the bathroom, which might be attached to the side of the room, and if the railroad apartments have more than one entryway.

Each railroad room connects to another by a single hallway, almost like a real train carriage. Unusual, isn't it?

What Is a Railroad Apartment

Such dwellings were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to make space as compact as possible in narrow and crowded houses. Like many other apartments with features – railroad apartments arose out of necessity, not design inspiration. First and foremost, these apartments were built as a convenient way to create as much living space as possible in narrow urban areas at a time when the demand for housing was extremely high.

Railroad avenue apartments are most often found in New York City, but also in some other major cities like Chicago and New Orleans. Many such apartments were built around 1900 in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and, in Queens, Ridgewood.

Although railroad apartment floor plans can range from one- to three-bedroom units, they are almost always less expensive than traditional apartments. As most real estate agents in America claim, renters can save 15 to 20 percent by living in railroad flats compared to a conventional one.

What Are the Features of a Railroad House Layout?

  • Long and narrow, straightforward rooms with a thorough design.
  • The rooms flow from one to the other, generally without corridors
  • Railroad house plans may contain one central hallway, arches separating rooms, or in some cases a hallway on one side with multiple entry points
  • High ceilings
  • Few closets and little storage space
  • Bedrooms are often at the far end for reasons of convenience and privacy
  • The kitchens are often in the center
  • Living areas are frequently in the forward section
Features of a Railroad House Layout

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Railroad Apartment?

  • Although railroad apartment layouts lack privateness, this can mean that they are less expensive than other similar-sized apartments in their area.
  • Tenants may have to go through each other's railroad style bedroom to get to the kitchen or bathroom. Or, to escape this, they may have to leave the apartment and use the shared lobby. But railway apartments usually have several entrances to a communal corridor.
  • Railway flats are nice in terms of the efficiency and density of housing, but not exactly what people are looking for these days in regard to room shapes and internal ventilation.
  • Lighting can be an issue as well if there are no windows in the middle rooms, but some railroad-style apartment complexes have lightboxes in the center especially to solve this difficulty.
  • The size and amount of rooms vary, but railway flats apartments may be slightly smaller overall and have smaller storage space than apartments on a floor with the same number of rooms.

Many people emphasize that, despite the disadvantages, they still love their apartments in the railway style and do not want to move.

What’s Important to Know When Moving into a Train Apartment?

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Railroad Apartment

Residents of the railway flats should consider carefully to maximize the use of the space they have available.

You can do a minimalist style: set up narrow doors and make the railroad flat apartment well lit. The other option is to place the railroad avenue apartments so that the bedrooms are at the front and back of the buildings, and the shared spaces are in the middle, to enhance privacy and make the best use of the broadest and lightest rooms.

10 Tips for Decorating a Railroad-Style Apartment

  1. Get rid of chaos and use the space for built-in storage systems or open shelving.
  2. It is advisable to reduce the amount of furniture and decorative items or their dimensions to keep the feeling of free space.
  3. Use mobile furniture: built-in tables or transformable sofas.
  4. Use sliding panels, French doors, or curtains to divide between rooms, or use the open layout of a studio apartment.
  5. Compensate for the lack of natural light in railway flats with wall sconces and pendant lights. Create tiered and balanced lighting.
  6. Extend the railroad apartment plan with mirrors and metallic colors in the design.
  7. Locate mirrors directly across from each other to create depth and perspective.
  8. Replaced swinging closet doors with sliding ones.
  9. Use one neutral color to create a feeling of wholeness and spaciousness in railroad-style apartment floor plan.
  10. Avoid heavy window designs or bulky curtains in favor of open panoramic windows.

Railroad-style apartments often have their charm, character, and details of historic buildings.

Moving into a Train Apartment

In the end, if you're the kind of person who prefers to live alone or wants to design your own cozy space, the rail apartments are a great solution. Keep in mind, however, that this layout makes privacy difficult, which means that railroad apartments tend to be more suitable for modern singles and couples than roommates and families. But after all, it's much more affordable than a studio or loft.

We are glad to be useful to you and gladly give you advice and recommendations, but the choice is still yours.

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