Train Car Homes


September, 2017


Pushing aside the extravagance of 20,000-square feet mansions and throwing wasted space to the wind, the growing trend of the last few years is all about down-sizing and using only what you need. As people become more globally conscious, “tiny homes” and many creative structures are being raised so people can live sustainably and without taking up too much space.

One thing that falls into this trend is train car homes. At first, it might sound like a fun twist on travel, but a train car home is quite stationary. Similar to container homes, a train car home repurposes an old train car into a permanent residence. Train car homes range from modest one-car homes to impressive multi-level constructs with winding staircases and contemporary designs.

Many people add paneling, fresh paint, and or traditional siding to their train car home, giving a great variety to the overall look and feel of these residences that often double as both homes and works of art.

While many train car home residents stick with the train theme, others make modifications to the extent that even the biggest Eisenbahnangs wouldn’t think twice about stepping into one.

j tech construction

What’s the point?

For those who aren’t following the tiny home trend, you may be wondering why anyone would want to live in a train car. The first and most obvious reason is being environmentally friendly. Repurposing old train cars that no longer have a use is a great way to help the environment. While they may not be suitable for the rails anymore, train cars are a solid and durable solution for a house.

Although some are narrower than others, train cars can be found as wide as 10-feet, which is plenty spacious when you consider that they’re around 55-feet long with around 9.5-foot ceilings. Plus, most train car homes connect multiple cars, providing a pretty large living space overall.

j tech construction

Is it sustainable?

Repurposing any old item is great for the environment. Rather than cutting down trees or using harmful production methods to make sidings, roofing, and other materials needed to construct a house from scratch, a train car provides the perfect stable structure to build a home around.

There are some needed modifications, of course, with train car homes having to replace/fix/modify the following in order to be livable:

  • A secure front door.
  • Secure windows: while many train cars can be found with opening and closing windows, sometimes windows need to be installed or replaced so they can be properly locked.
  • Interior. The interior space of a train car needs to have the seats/cargo area removed so that proper installation and flooring can be installed.
  • Running water. While some train car homes lack it, running water and electricity can be installed in a train car home, making it fully functional and completely livable by any coding standards.

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