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View Full Version : Rochelle-The Good the Bad and the Ugly


signmasters
04-25-2006, 06:23 PM
April 20th, 2006 5:30AM Yes my wife and I were the first one there in fact we didnít see anyone for about four hours. It was to dark to use my new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT but not to dark for the trains, lots of them, did I tell you lots of trains. Let me start with the GOOD, the weather was great all day sunny warm, next trains lots and lots of train at times there were trains stopped right in front of us waiting for the diamond to clear, I took 146 pictures (a lot of the same trains) and than there was the scanner so we could hear what was going on. The park was clean and well keep, but (more on that later) and there was a place for the kids to play. Train crews were friendly even got a thumbs up from a UP #6017. Now the BAD, we were the only car from out of state there all day, we tried to talk with a few of the railfan all from Illinois no luck. One fan had been there for about four hours and I told him we were about to have lunch and he was welcome to join us or have a cold drink from our cooler (water, pop gator-aid) ďno Iíll drive and get me something if I need itĒ I didnít see any vending when we were there. I did get a few complements on my railfan graphics on the back of my truck. I guess after railfanning in MI, IN, OH were railfan walk up and start talking and are glad to share stories and hot spot, maybe it was just a bad day. Maintenance show up about 10:30AM and worked on the diamond till just before 4PM things seemed to slow down a little after they arrived but how would I know never being there before. Now the UGLY the restroom were open but had not been cleaned in a while they were pretty bad, we pulled out at 4PM and they still were bad, Iím sure they will get to them but if you are going you might bring wipes etc. (something we always have in our line of work).
Would we go back YES, we are planning a 2 day trip this summer with some friends (yes we do have friends) camping near by, so I can check out some other spots I have seen around Rochelle.
Over all I give it a 9 out of 10.
The gift shop as you all know is closed and the windows are blocked, tried to talked to a few fans about it but again they just didnít know or care, one fan lives right in town comes a lot to read books didnít even know it was closed.
Things to bring next time.
1. Things you would need in a restroom (mostly the women).
2. Food and drinks, till they get things up and running there.
3. Take chairs if you want to set in the sun, we left ours in our trailer in Bridgeview, IL at the Golf Dome. A blanket works ok.
4. Your own rail fans if you need someone to talk to (I did have my wife).
Remember stay safe, have fun and railfans rule!

Christopher Muller
04-26-2006, 08:14 AM
When I visited Rochelle about a year ago, there were a lot of railfans there, ranging in age from baby wheels to wheel chairs. We visited with a few people, but I did notice for the most part everyone was really reserved. I did talk to a few railfans from Iowa, North Dakota (yes Ween, North Dakota). There was a large group of about 15 railfans that were obviously from Rochelle that sat isolated in the middle of the shelter. I too would return to Rochelle, sad see the gift shop closed however. The only thing I didn't like about Rochelle was the angles. Very hard to take photographs of trains there (for the shots I like to take).

signmasters
04-26-2006, 12:38 PM
When I visited Rochelle about a year ago, there were a lot of railfans there, ranging in age from baby wheels to wheel chairs. We visited with a few people, but I did notice for the most part everyone was really reserved. I did talk to a few railfans from Iowa, North Dakota (yes Ween, North Dakota). There was a large group of about 15 railfans that were obviously from Rochelle that sat isolated in the middle of the shelter. I too would return to Rochelle, sad see the gift shop closed however. The only thing I didn't like about Rochelle was the angles. Very hard to take photographs of trains there (for the shots I like to take).
Thank you for your input and thats a very good point, there is way to many poles, trying to take photos between all the poles is a job. I seen a total of 18 fans there but it was a Thursday. Stay safe, have fun, rail fans rule!

Ween
04-26-2006, 03:00 PM
I did talk to a few railfans from Iowa, North Dakota (yes Ween, North Dakota).

I know they're up here; I saw at least 3 in Minot when I was there. North Dakota's rail history is too great to not have any railfans. But they just don't put their stuff on the net, at least that I've found...

I'd like to go to Rochelle once just to see it. I probably had my best chance when I lived in IL, but maybe next time!