Abstract This paper presents some of the results of field investigations on effects of exposure to noise and vibration from railway traffic. Effects on annoyance, sleep disturbances and psycho-social well-being as well as disturbance of different activities were evaluated by a postal questionnaire. Fifteen different sites located near railway lines in Sweden were investigated. The study covered areas with different number of trains per 24 hours in area with strong vibration caused by the railway traffic exceeding 2 mm/s as measured in the buildings as well as areas without vibration, or vibration weaker than 1 mm/s. 2833 persons between 18 and 75 years of age participated in the study. This paper presents only the results from two areas with and without vibration and a high number of trains per 24 hours. The results show that railway noise is experienced as more annoying in areas where there is simultaneous exposure to vibration from railway traffic. Disturbance of communication was the most frequently mentioned annoyance reaction, outside and inside the dwelling. To ensure an acceptable environmental quality where less than 5% of the exposed population is rather or very annoyed by railway noise, these noise levels must be below 80LAmaxand below 55LAeqin areas without vibration. In areas with simultaneous exposure to strong vibration, action against vibration or a longer distance between houses and the railway line is needed, corresponding to a 10 dB(A) lower noise level than in areas without vibration.