Best Railfanning Locations?

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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:43 pm

Best Railfanning Locations?

Unread post by Merf »

Posted this on another forum, but no replies yet, so I'll try here...
I'm a complete newbie at railfanning (just watch locally on occasion and have been to Iron Triangle at Fostoria, OH a couple times). Thinking about maybe taking a road trip for some railfanning, and wondering if there are any "perfect" railfanning locations out there? My "perfect" railfan location would feature:
• Lots of trains!
• Shelter or a shaded area
• No access / trespassing restrictions (I want to stay legal!)
• Parking for a minivan (where overnight parking is allowed!), preferably including a shaded parking spot
• Reasonably safe area
• Public wi-fi internet access
• Public electrical outlet (for charging laptop)
• Public restroom / water nearby
• Fast food and/or grocery stores reasonably nearby

I realize this is a pretty long "wish list," so any location that meets the first five (or more) would be great. Can you recommend any such locations?
Midwest preferred but I'll consider anywhere. Please give a detailed description (including which of the desired features are included [or missing], and any other notes or features that might be of interest). I'll look them up on Google Maps to find the exact spot.

Maybe I can get a whole list and visit several! Thanks in advance for your help!

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Ingersoll's Mr. Michigan
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Location: Grand Rapids

Re: Best Railfanning Locations?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

Chesterton, IN has a new nice public are set up next to the NS main in the center of town. There is a platform, a covered area with picnic tables, a caboose, and a boxcar donated by NS that has public restrooms. You'd see at least 40-50 trains a day through Chesterton on the NS alone.
"Remember, 4 mph is a couple, 5's a collision!" ... teresting/

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Sofa King Admin
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Re: Best Railfanning Locations?

Unread post by ~Z~ »

Pretty near Fostoria, maybe you've already been there, but Deshler OH.
Satisfies basically all you said... can park on the southern lot under the tree if needed, but the shelter onsite with picnic tables/electric outlets is the place to hang.
Public wifi, safe, good volume of trains. Only the "water" aspect is lacking; don't know where you can fill up some water bottles. Port-a-potty onsite. No fast food(Subway doesn't count), but there is a grocery store and restaurants. Donations to the park encouraged to use all this "free" stuff.
Railroad photos on

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Location: Wadsworth, OH

Re: Best Railfanning Locations?

Unread post by bdconrail29 »

Vermilion, OH actually meets every single one of your criteria.

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