Mark Roemer Oakland Discusses What a Railroad-Style Apartment Is

Mark Roemer Oakland Discusses What a Railroad-Style Apartment Is



According to Mark Roemer Oakland, if you’re on the market for a new home, you may have come across listings that say “railroad-style apartment”. Unfortunately, the name doesn’t give out any clues to most people. Let’s figure out what a railroad-style apartment is.

The Discussion

1. Railroad-style apartment

A railroad apartment is a dwelling in subdivided brownstones or older tenement buildings. They are narrow with a layout of succeeding rooms that have a central hallway to connect the rooms. That means going to a room at the back isn’t possible without going through the rooms at the front. The rooms are arranged like cars on a train. Hence, the name railroad apartment.

2. Size of railroad apartments

Railroad apartments usually run from the front to the back of narrow buildings and may have two or three bedrooms. Most of them are narrow. However, since there are central hallways or no hallways, the rooms are larger. The square footage may vary and is often a bit smaller than standard 2 or 3-bedroom apartments.

When it comes to the room layout, you’ll find railroad apartments with one bedroom leading to another bedroom. However, people prefer apartments with two bedrooms at either end and shared spaces like the living room between them.

3. Advantages of railroad apartments

Railroad apartments have numerous advantages and are most suited for minimalists. If you don’t need a lot of room and want the best use of your space, this is it. The space is more functional, and the unique layout evokes your creativity to decorate it very different manner compared to regular apartments.

The rooms are also more spacious due to the lack of hallways and that extra real estate can be a big advantage in expensive cities like New York. Apart from that, railroad apartments are usually budget-friendly. They would always be cheaper than regular apartments in the neighborhood. So, if you don’t mind the room layout, you may be able to stretch your budget to live in a much better neighborhood than you could afford.

4. Disadvantages of railroad apartments

When it comes to disadvantages, the obvious and glaring one is privacy. Since you save space on hallways, you compromise on privacy. This won’t be an issue if you live by yourself. However, living with roommates or a nuclear family would be very challenging since everyone would intrude on each other when they need to go to the next room.

Apart from that, you’ll also compromise on natural light and airflow. These kinds of apartments were built during a time when there were no built-in air conditioning units and airflow wasn’t a priority. So, you’ll need to get window AC for each room and natural light would only be available in rooms that are on either end.


Mark Roemer Oakland suggests that you assess a railroad-style apartment carefully and figure out if the advantages offered by such an apartment make it a good buy. At the end of the day, it comes to your budget, your specific needs, and many other factors.


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