Can anyone else hear the intermittent 'hum' that I can hear on Melbourne Avenue at night? It is a loud droning/humming noise that comes in surges - sometimes very short, sometimes long. It is nothing to do with my property and I have stood in the garden at 3am trying to locate the source but to no avail. If I knew what it was it wouldn't annoy me as much as it does, especially in the summer with the back  windows open, as it is the back of the house that gets it worse. Thanks.

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I lived over that way from 1980-1984 and the noise was around even then.It was a complete mystery and no one ever got to the bottom of it except,for a suggestion that it may have been connected with the nearby tube line.It got to the point where we went out to get away from it.

Pumping station? Electricity substation? Is there anything like that squirrelled away between the properties locally?

Thank you Geoffrey,

I did suspect it might be due to the electricity sub station between Bowes Park and Palmers Green stations. Its definitely a surge rather than a train or underground type noise. The only reason it bother me isn't the noise itself, its the not knowing for sure where it comes from!

I am not sure what the noise is.  If you can hear the overground trains I know they use the track between Bowes Park and Palmers Green to shunt trains around. If you look at the tracks there are three sets of tracks. They can then move trans from the depot at Wood Green onto these to get the trains on the UP to London side or the DOWN to the north side.  If they park up while the points are switched, the diesel engines might be heard running and then move slowly off. Hope this helps.


Thanks Peter,

The weird thing is I can distinguish the sound of the trains from the sound I describe, which a very much a low, dull hum/drone. But thank you.

It's a message from the mothership...some day soon they will come

The tube is too far from Melbourne to be a source of the noise (see this geographicly accurate Tube Map) I think the overground trains would also be too far away - The noise would have to be very loud to carry all the way to Melbourne from the railway line and most likely reported/resolved elsewhere?

Could it be something closer to home? Perhaps a refrigeration unit at the back of the Butchers on Green Lanes? Or a faulty street light transformer?

Thanks Richard. The nose definately sounds like an electrical 'surge' but sounds too powerful and loud  to be anything domestic, and it does sound near, but i can't seem to locate the direction it comes from.  It is heard some nights frequently, and others not at all, and can extend into the morning. Its not a bother, nor does it wake us, but I'm just irritated by not knowing it's source!

What a wonderful map, Richard, I never knew where the tube went between Wood Green and Bounds Green  as it seems to take an extraordinary long time in relation to the distance travelled.  I suppose it has to get up a hill at some point.

That map is awesome. It's like flight tracker, you can see the trains travelling up and down the lines.

I know this is an old discussion but I thought I'd ask if anyone had had any further enlightenments regarding this humming sound? I'm in N8 (Crouch End) and have been hearing it since the beginning of this year. It's been driving me nuts, and no one else seems to be able to hear it! Last night was the worst it's been so far for me, as the droning noise came in relatively short surges, and almost had me believe it was coming from a nightclub or such like. But it wasn't, it wasn't actually rhythmic enough to be that. It seemed to have gone for a few days only to be back with a vengeance now. I rang the council a while ago about it to ask if there was any underground work going on - there isn't. I also though of the Crossrail development, but that just seems to be too far away for it to be audible all the way up here. Anyway, I have added my location to the Hum map >, as maybe this is just part of that worldwide low frequency sound phenomenon that only very few people are aware of...
What I'd like to know: what makes it start, and what makes it stop?

Why not try to make a recording and post it online at Soundcloud for instance? It would help if others recognised it!


Connecting the communities of Bowes Park and Bounds Green in north London.

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