View Full Version : Describe Your Favorite Train Spotting Place........

11-21-2004, 02:30 PM
I have two~

1:One is where there is a huge grain station that's right near a small country road. I can sit there and look at three tracks. About 3-7 trains an hour will come through during the day. And maybe 1-2 per night. Since that spot is where a loading dock for trains is located as well (non grain items) the engine will stop right there and a lot of the times the engineer will talk to you if you come up to the engine.
Next time I get a chance I will try to take some pics of me real close up to the engine and perhaps ask the engineer to take some pics inside.

2:Also, a little further up north right before you hit the Colorado / Wyoming boarder there is a small bridge that runs over the tracks and you can drive a little off-raod to get under the bridge and see a really good view of trains.

11-22-2004, 06:25 AM
How about three? The first two are kinda vague.

1.) Any accessible locaiton between Tucker Station, KY and Danville, KY

2.) Any accessible location between Danville, KY and Chattanooga, TN

3.) Chaska, TN (pronounced CHAS-kee) This is the location of a pusher station and old L&N coal tower that still stands as a reminder of the days of steam. All southbound coal trains get a shove here. The first trick pusher crew is pretty friendly, but I'm not so sure about second or third. Chaska is hard to find, but it's worth going there when the KD Subdivision is busy.

11-30-2004, 07:06 AM

1. Ashland, Virginia Where the doubletracked CSX ex-RF&P Mainline runs down through the center of town with roads, houses & even a college trackside. Not to mention all the great CSX Traffic too!

2. South Acca Yard in Richmond, Va with traffic coming off & going on to multiple converging lines the special Railfan spot frequented by many offers a safe, friendly spot to watch all the mainline traffic & still see all the additional yard Switching as well!

3. Point of Rocks, MD (No Brainer)

4. Shenendoah Junction, WV The Ex-B&O Mainline offers many spectacular photo ops as well as awesome action of trains pulling on a grade just out from Harpers Ferry, WV. Also the NS H-Line Crosses overtop adding to the fun!


1. Midland,VA Centered in the middle of Farm Country and just of VA Route 28 at MP 50.0 on the Ex-Southern NS Mainline that stretches from Washington DC-Manassas, VA & Manassas, VA to Lynchburg, VA. Trains come through here "Flying" and this spot is where Train Crews begin slowing their trains for a crew Change at Bristow, Va. Fantastic Scenery, Both North & South signals & the friendly-ist people make this a worthy spot for Railfanning.

2. Manassas, Va At the hub for the Cival War & the center for battlefield history lies the NS Washington District (Washington DC to Manassas, Va & Manassas to Lynchburg, VA, the NS B-Line Manassas to Riverton Junction (Front Royal, Va) A variety of trains , the wye for the B-Line and a friendly police force make this spot/s a safe, fun and pentiful place to railfan.

Take Care,

Jason Breakiron

Life of Brian
01-11-2005, 08:39 PM
I have 3 as well:

1. The back of the shopping center (not sure of the name) thats across from Up's Cenetennial Yard. There's always something going on around there.

2. The Saginaw Chamber of Commerce parking lot. Its all of 100 feet from the Saginaw Interlocker. Great for catching UP and BNSF. The longest I've ever gone without seeing a nice train has been just under 15 minutes. Also all of the crews seem to be really friendly, and wave, and yell "Howdy's" every now and then.

3. The west end of the Mockingbird Yard that DGNO runs. Sure its owned by DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), and yes the TRE is the most frequent thing you see, but I am a DGNO nut. Dunno why. Maybe its all the diferent color locomotives, or the fact that they seem to "get no respect". :D

01-11-2005, 09:21 PM
I have 4 myself

1. Woodland Jct.: Where the UP(MoPac) and CSX(L&N) merge their single tracks into a shared main. Is out in the middle of nowhere. But worth the effort. Have never been bothered in 20 plus years

2. Tolono: where the CN(IC) and the NS cross

3. Tuscola: Where the CN(IC) and the UP(MoPac) cross

4. Lafayette: Where the CSX and NS run along the Wabash River in Downtown

01-31-2005, 12:21 AM
I have three:

1. Huntley, Montana. MRL tracks become BNSF tracks going East and South, which makes for great activity through the area, as the two mainlines merge into one, westward. Sometimes you can get caught between the tracks (see photo) as an East/South and Westbound train passes each other. Plus, double signals make for anticipated on-comming trains.
Also, there are side tracks where logging cars are loaded with timber, as well as grain hoppers coming and going from a Coors barely elevator just 1/2 mile east.

2. Jones Junction. There is an empty or loaded coal train making it's way through the "U-turn" from east to south (or vice versa), several times a day, just 1 1/2 miles east of Huntley.

3. Laurel Yard. You never know what kinds of power you will see, circumferencing the yard. Locos from the West that end up turning around, going back West, can only be seen when they are refueling, since there are not any good places to train watch within 30 miles from town, westward.
Hope you enjoyed my post!


01-31-2005, 12:28 AM
(1) Brunswick, Md Yard
(2) Shenandoah Junction, W.Va (within 10 miles, there are many good angles)
(3) Point of Rocks, Md

(1) NS Hagerstown Dist. (pretty much, anywhere)
(2) NS Lurgan Branch (again, pretty much, anywhere)
(3) Rockville Bridge, Harrisburg, Pa

02-15-2005, 03:46 AM
My favorites are:
1.) Joliet Union Station, Joliet, IL. BNSF, CN, IC, UP, CSX, Metra, Amtrak, Iowa Interstate, anything can run through Joliet! :)
2.) BNSF Chicago to Aurora Race Track, BNSF, Amtrak, Metra, UP and NS possible, CSX
3.) Lockport, IL. Same line as Joliet Union Station, BNSF, Amtrak, Metra, IC, CN, CSX, UP
4.) Areas that EJ&E run. :-D

02-15-2005, 07:08 PM

1.) Point of Rocks, MD
2.) Harper's Ferry
3.) Anywhere along the C&O Canal that the Metropolitan/Cumberland Sub borders.


1.) Iron Bridge (Enola Yard)

02-17-2005, 03:07 AM
A place I'm really keen on is the Commerce, CA Metrolink platform. It's just up the line from the big BNSF Hobart Yard, and it's right opposite their Commerce Mechanical Facility, where lots of BNSF and pool power is serviced ready to pull trains out of Hobart. The only problem there is that the bad-order car tracks are between you and the depot, so if there's a lot of them in there your depot view is somewhat obscured. One does see the locomotives unobscured when doing switching moves, though, which they have to quite a lot.

It's close enough to the intermodal yards to get the occasional switching move, for one thing, which generally means yellowbonnet B23-7s, GP30us or GP35s. One also gets BNSF GP38-2s going by with locals and transfer runs, as well as the intermodal power.

The stack trains are generally solid blocks of C44-9Ws, though. Nice locomotives, I guess, but they do get a bit tedious.

The Commerce depot often has GP60Ms, GP60Bs, SD40s, B40-8s, and other odder BNSF power, which makes for the occasional interesting sighting.


Also, the platform faces north so the trains are well lit.

02-21-2005, 07:09 AM
There's a bike trail in Lawrence, Kansas that runs parallel to the UP line. On a good day a train will go by about once every 10 minutes. Going along the trail lets me get shots that would be difficult otherwise. I can set up my tripod and such without worrying about cars. I also go a little off the trail so I don't get in the way of joggers or cyclists.

02-28-2005, 03:59 AM
I have a couple.

when i'm home from school my favorite place is just east of Fairport, NY along the CSX mainline that runs through there. the track runs parallel to the Erie Canal, and they are about 100 yards apart. there is a bike trail that goes along the canal. There is a siding right there as well, and sometimes cars are left there, or work trains. There is a bridge that spans both the tracks and the canal. Back in the day, like 10 years ago, there was an old bridge that was closed to car traffic, but you could still walk across. My dad and i would go up and watch the action for hours back then. They recently replaced the bridge, but my friend from home and i go up there a lot still. the new bridge has a cool place right underneath it - you can crawl up so you are under the bridge, at the top of the bridge foundation, and the trains roar by right beneath you. we always go get some lunch and bring it there and chow down and watch the trains roll by. Also down the tracks from the bridge about a mile we found the remains of a water tower we think, and also the foundation of an old building. We made a little campsite there which is a great place at night - you can see the trains for at least a mile down the straightaway looking back toward the bridge, and you can see the signals for trains coming the other way. you can also hear their whistles from some crossings that are a ways down the track. thats my favorite place by far.

While i'm at school my favorite place is in downtown Potsdam, NY, where the CSX St. Lawerence sub (i think) crosses the Racquette River. theres this great curving bridge and you can stand on the side of its foundation, and your head is right at rail level. when you're standing there and its dark you can see the light coming through the trees for a ways, and then the train blasts around the corner, zooms over the bridge, and passes right by you, just as it blasts its whistle for the next crossing. amazing!

03-16-2005, 05:07 PM
For quantity my favorite location is Valley Junction, E. St. Louis, IL. It's not that great for photography, though. There is always something going on there. Almost all trains off the UP Chester Sub go through Valley, as do many from the west. Alton & Southern's Gateway Yard is right there. You also have KCS's yard adjacent, so some KCS traffic moves through. TRRA makes several transfers to A&S and KCS, plus you get all the A&S yard movements. There are occasional BNSF trains through there that run via the UP Chester Sub on trackage rights or as of right now, detouring due to work on their own line. Many people sit here and railroad cops seem to mind. They drive by frequently without saying a word, though I am sure that could change on a whim.

The drawback for some people is that it is E. St. Louis, so there is some risk of being shot at, robbed, carjacked, assaulted, beaten, stabbed, or maybe all six simulaneously should you be unlucky enough to catch someone on a particularly bad day. The immediate area has been used in the past to dump dead bodies, although that was pretty much the work of one serial killer preying on prostitutes. He committed suicide in jail (and people were pissed off that something like that could happen???) The occasional stray pooch shows up, too, though most of the time they are too timid to bother with you. It's also an area off the beaten path, so a lot of people use it is a dump, not that crap isn't dumped all over E. St. Louis along the main drags anyway. I like to refer to it as Valley Junkyard. Seriously, though, I have been going there for 16 years and have never had any trouble.

I don't know how to link just my Valley Jct. pics here, I'm sure there is a way. If you want to see them, just look up N691LF and Valley Jct. in the search. You'll see the area is somewhat void of scenery and is usually only good for the wedgie shot.