What is that famous 20th-Century novel where the protagonist's house is very near a railway? His name is Григор and he imagines he turns into a bug. I think the author is German.
I think some of the answers are uncommon/awkward in English.
I would probably say "near train tracks" or "near the train tracks" if the person I was talking to could assume which tracks I meant.
Less commonly I could say "near railroad tracks" or "near the railroad tracks" but never "a railroad tracks". "Tracks" is plural. You don't say "a pants" or "a glasses".
Yes, there is no difference. In Russian "дом" is for both of these words, the meaning depends on the context.
would you ever say "her home is near the railway" though? I feel like it's a very physical concept, which means "house" to me.
I would use home or house, depending on whether I wanted to focus on the actual structure or the place lived in. I think there's probably a lot of regional variation for this one.
It's the same in French "chemin de fer", Spanish "ferrocarril", Turkish "demiryolu", Greek "σιδηρόδρομος" and Romanian "cale ferata". It's not that rare.
Same in Swedish as well, järnväg. Järn means iron. I didn't realise it until now when i thought about it.
"Her house is near the train tracks" sounds much better in English even though i would understand the intention of the translation. "Railway" sounds like an outdated adjective.