Old 12-13-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
travsirocz
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Default Where would you stay?

I am going for training this March in Kansas City and plan on stopping for a night in Nebraska for some rail action. Where would a good place or city be to stay? I like BNSF a bit more then UP but doesn't really matter. I probably won't make it to the far western part of the state but Crawford Hill is tempting. Where are some good photo locations? I'm thinking about Grand Island. Let me know what you think.
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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Hmm, several things. I just got back from there two months ago. I suggest you read my trip report at: http://socalrailfan.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2891

Secondly I have a Google Earth railfanning file for the area. I stayed about 10 minutes north of the city at Hwy.29 x/NW Barry Rd at a motel on NW 83rd St. I stayed at the 2nd hotel two the west of NW Prairie View RD, it was being renovated and was clean and had wireless and was a lot less than KC hotels.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travsirocz
I am going for training this March in Kansas City and plan on stopping for a night in Nebraska for some rail action. Where would a good place or city be to stay? I like BNSF a bit more then UP but doesn't really matter. I probably won't make it to the far western part of the state but Crawford Hill is tempting. Where are some good photo locations? I'm thinking about Grand Island. Let me know what you think.
If you're staying in Nebraska and are looking for BNSF, I'd recommend either Lincoln or Ashland. Ashland is a BNSF junction town, where the BNSF line to Omaha splits from the mainline to Chicago. Additionally, BNSF's line to Sioux City and points north also takes off here. The junction is on the east side of town, though I've never fanned it. What's great about Ashland is that there is at least one hotel in town that is trackside, just a small Mom and Pop joint. On the east side of Lincoln, there's at least two hotels within view of the tracks, but the one I stayed in was a dump...lots of trains though!

Grand Island is OK for photography, but when I'm there, I just sit back and watch unless I think I might get an over/under shot (hasn't happened yet). I've been wanting to hit the small towns on the BNSF between Lincoln and GI. US 34 stays close to the tracks most of the way between these towns. If you do get as far west as GI, then you MUST drive about 45 minutes down US 30 to Gibbon for one of the most impressive displays of railroading I've seen in my life. From Gibbon west, the UP gets a LEGIT 140+ trains per day (and that's a conservative guess) which you have to see to believe. Even on slow days it seems busy, and at times you'll have trains coming through on streetcar like intervals. It's truly incredible.

PM me if you want any more info, that's my old stomping grounds and I know it well. KC is a majorly underrated area that would be worth some hours, and I'm currently updating the KC Google Earth map if you're interested in that too.
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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Thank you for your very your very informative replys.
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