Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed June 10 2015

Trainspotting: 5 Great Places To Watch Trains

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | June 10, 2015

Trainspotting: 5 Great Places To Watch Trains

Photo Courtesy of

Commercial railroads have been around since the 1830s, and with the proliferation of the railroad along with it came the increase of railfans. Railfans come in all shapes, ages and sizes and all come with one common goal: to see trains. There are quite a few places around the country that you can go to see trains pass by, stop or load and unload. Here are five you have to see.

Folkston Funnel Railfan Park - Folkston, Georgia

Photo Courtesy of

Number of Trains per Day: 40-45

Folkston, Georgia is located an hour from Jacksonville, Florida and about two from Savannah, Georgia. Folkston Funnel Railfan Park was constructed just for the folks who love to watch the trains go by. A good 90 percent of all trains going or coming from Florida pass through Folkston. They have their own viewing platform, restrooms, and parking lot and there are places to picnic and lawns to relax on. There are also lights for nighttime viewing and even a radio scanner so you can listen in to the local train traffic.

Rochelle Railroad Park – Rochelle, Illinois

Photo Courtesy of Robert Sharp via the Rochelle Railroad Park.

Number of Trains per Day: 80-90

The very first park built just for visitors to watch trains, the Rochelle Railroad Park has all of the amenities that you could want in a train viewing area. Restrooms, gift shop, a Whitcomb Locomotive, two viewing platforms and even a recreated Hobo Jungle to explore. Their signature double diamond train crossing is the star attraction here, and the viewing platform is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Fullerton Train Station - Fullerton, California

Photo Courtesy of

Number of Trains per Day: 100+

Ok, so this isn’t a real train park, but it is a great place to park yourself and watch the trains come by. Every Friday and Saturday evening there is an informal get-together of train buffs, but with all the railroad traffic that this place gets, you are bound to find railfans there all the time. Every May they also have Railroad Days, and this year they had a crowd of over 35,000 people attend! The best time to train watch here is during the week because of all the commuter traffic that you get as well.

Fostoria Iron Triangle - Fostoria, Ohio

Photo Courtesy of Fostoria Iron Triangle.

Number of Trains per Day: 100+

The most recently built train watching park in the United States, the Iron Triangle gets its name from the three main lines that run through the town creating a triangle. The center of the triangle makes up the park with restrooms, plenty of parking and lighting for night viewing. People come from all over the country to this tiny little town a half an hour south of Toledo. There are more facilities to come in the future.

Horseshoe Curve – Altoona, Pennsylvania

Photo courtesy of the town of Altoona.

Number of Trains per Day: 60

Built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854, the Horseshoe Curve was intended to alleviate the incline of the track caused by the Allegany Mountains. Because of its reputation at the time of being a modern feat of engineering, a park was opened in 1979 so that visitors could admire it. This is the only park on the list that is not free and is not open year round. 

The good news is that admission gets you an incline train ride to the top of the park from the parking lot at the bottom and there are restrooms, a visitor’s center and a gift store. Make sure you visit between April and October or you will be met with closed doors.

Those are just five amazing places to see trains. There are many more. Where is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. And special thanks going out to the folks over at for the photos and the info.


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