• Lunchtime railfanning

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by JLJ061
BNSF's Fort Scott Subdivision does right by where I work, so I get to see a good mix of BNSF and UP consists.

Where I work also happens to be in the middle of an industrial park with a team track going right behind my building, so quite often I get to see a lot of freight cars stored there, and sometimes some really cool first-generation power idling there!

  by justinking
Maryland Midlands mainline is about 100 yards from my current employment, rarely do I get to see it on lunch break but I have a huge window that allows me to watch the two day time movements. the intersection here is five ways (four road directions and the railline) so everyone now and again (once a month or so) there is a pretty hair raising close call.

  by RailBus63
CSX near Dewitt Yard in East Syracuse, NY. The old Amtrak station used to be a great place to park, but it was torn down last year and replaced with a tractor supply store. I've since found a nearby road which parallels the main line and yard leads west of the yard - the only bad thing is that I can't park in a way that keeps me in the shade when I'm sitting in the car.

Between noon and 1:00, I usually see one Amtrak Empire Service train each way. CSX train Q113 is often picking up and setting out cars with two big GE's. On a good day, I may also see an eastbound or two or the occasional westbound, sometimes with UP or BNSF power. On a very good day, I've seen as many as five or six freights in less than an hour.

Jim D.

  by Scoring Guy
I work next to the CP mainline 15 miles east of La Crosse, WI (about half way between Chicago and St. Paul on what used to be the Milwaukee Road). Lots of frieghts, CP's mostly and some UP's short cutting (to/from Wyeville on their ex-C&NW line). Some CSX cabs too hauling coal.

Daily is the east bound Amtrak Empire Builder (should arrive about 10:45am) - it's distinctive whistle can usually be heard a minute or two in advance of arrival, so one can head for the window and can check out the consist, watch for any private varnish, and of course note how on time it is for that day. Unfortunately, the westbound doesn't arrive until about 7pm, when I'm usually home, and not in view of the track.
  by wborys
I'm 10 minutes from the Hamilton NJT/Amtrak station in Central New Jersey.

if I get there by 11:50 AM, I can see 6 trains, including three hispeed blow-bys in 20 minutes.
(SOMETIMES they'll be on the platform-side track.)

Granted, its passenger rail, but better than nothing. Maybe someday I'll venture across
the river into the Pennsy Fairless Hills CSX freight yard area, but I'll have to research
where the best/safest site would be.
  by Desertdweller
I used to work at a Ford dealership in St. Charles, MN. This was right after the RI shutdown.

Often, early in the afternoon, the C&NW would come into town and do a little switching. This was back in the "ALCO Line" days, and the train would usually be powered with some mix of Centuries and RS-series power. Naturally, this would be accompanied by much black smoke.

I generally took the opportunity to slip back to the body shop to watch the show for a few minutes.

Later, most of my "lunchtime railfanning" took place from inside the locomotive.

  by jlr3266
I have a full view of Harold Interlocking and Sunnyside Yard outside the field office window, but to be honest, it's part of work, so I only watch the oddities.