The house is charming, but a bit too spartan for my taste. The woodwork is beautiful.
Yes, the train rail is in the valley right at the back of the house, and the trains blare every time, which is quite frequent, perhaps every 30 minutes? My husband was kept awake by the noise until after midnight, despite of being very tired and sleepy. We could hear the other guests clearly. -- It's just a house, so naturally there's no sound proofing between the rooms.
Breakfast is served at three time slots only: 8am, 8:30, or 9am, and we had to choose it right at our arrival. I wanted to do the day hike to the maryland heights, which would take between 2-3 hours, and hence ideally I'd like either to have a really early breakfast, say around 7am, so we can go hike, and then come back to use the shower before check-out at 11; or go hike first and come back to have breakfast at a later time, say 10ish. Apparently that was not an option. In the end we did 8am breakfast, checked out, went hiking, and remained all sweaty and uncomfortable thereafter.
As another reviewer mentioned indeed the owner would show the house and ask for the payment right upon arrival, in the room. We were quite tired and would really like to have a rest and refresh ourselves first, and were not thrilled about this routine.
Finally, harpers ferry is a tiny town without any activity after dusk. There's NO dinner place whatsoever. It's a nice place for a day trip if you are into american history, but not worth an overnight stay. It actually got a little creepy at night.