It all started in the late 1980's with a story published in Train's Magazine about the railroad action in Galesburg, Illinois. There happened to be a couple sentences of a great place to stay in town, a Howard Johnson Hotel that overlooked the Santa Fe Railroad mainline. I took a trip, and became hooked on "Railfan Motels"! Because really folks... why should railfanning stop when it's time to head for the motel? I've since become a frequent visitor to Galesburg. The hotel still plays host for the greatest show on the BNSF. The hotel later became a Ramada and is currently called Broad View Inn. The view is great and the trains are plentiful.
Finding these hotels became much easier once the web became a common tool. Our mission is to compose a list of verified motel / hotel properties, give you as much information that we can about each location. As more of us railfans use these motels, we have a better chance of the management maintaining the railroad view (meaning no trees or walls to obstruct view). When booking a room make a special request and ask for a room with a view of the railroad. Each motel/hotel listed details the best area of the property for a railroad view.
Currently we list 892 reviews of “Railfan Motels”. These are located throughout the United States. The properties we rate are verified, including pictures and notes of the visit. Passing along a personal experience can help you have an indication of what to expect, but note that RailfanMotels.com doesn’t guarantee and is not responsible for motel/hotel conditions, services, cleanliness, rates, or other conditions that may not result as the same experience as our field scouts encountered. We are members of AAA, and refer to the AAA rating system for our reviews on this web site.
We will continue to populate the listings. We have a long list of motels/hotels to check. Once we approve them, you’ll see them here on RailfanMotels.com !
Check us out before you take your next trip! Happy Railfanning!
House built for Railfans FOR SALE – Lilly, Pennsylvania
As seen in Trains Magazine & Railpace Newsmagazine
One of the best places in the world to watch freight trains is on what is dubbed the world’s busiest mountain railroad, that would be Norfolk Southern’s central Pennsylvania mainline. Lilly, Pennsylvania sits in the heart of this busy line, with 60 freights a day, 2 Amtrak trains and numerous helper locomotive moves. In 2003, a retired well known railroad enthusiast purchased land in Lilly and built a house facing the railroad complete with a front porch and a basement designed for a railroad layout. The house is even wired for live railroad video feed, an exterior camera facing the railroad displays on a basement monitor so you don’t miss a train when working with the model train layout. For those concerned about noise & vibrations due to living near the railroad, don’t worry; large rebar was used during construction of the foundation which keeps the house smooth and steady during passing trains. While westbound trains glide past quietly as they descend down the hill, heavy eastbound trains can be a bit noisy at times due to locomotives trying to keep trains moving. The railroad view from the house is perfect, clear view! From the front porch it’s easy to view more than 2-miles both east & west down the tracks. House is located on the south side of the railroad which allows wonderful photography, a Pennsylvania Rail Road signal bridge 254 is also seen from the property. The clean & well maintained house is located on a quiet street (dead end street) with a peaceful mountain view. Lilly is located about 5-miutes from the Cassandra train watching spot, less than 10-minutes from Cresson, and within a half hour of Altoona. Why visit this great part of Pennsylvania, when you can live here!
If interested, call - (814) 886-8561 and leave message. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
- Coming soon; The motels of Gallup, NM / Alamosa, CO / Harriman, TN. We went like bandits through these towns to find the best (and all) Railfan Motels. We came up with a large list! Stay tuned.- Updated - Fresno, CA has been updated. Due to the future High Speed Rail project scheduled to begin, we lost 5 motels (more will close soon) as the city will be moving the 99 freeway over to make room for the new railroad tracks that will run between the freeway and the Union Pacific tracks. This is an improvement since this area of the city was considered the ghetto - the motels that were closed & torn down were not recommended by RailfanMotels. The motels removed from our listings include Relax Inn, Paradise Inn Motel, Del-Mar Motel, Star Lite Inn, Astro Motel. At the same time we gained one new hotel - Hampton Inn Fresno-Northwest has been added to the web site. (Updated 12/7/2015).
- New Addition - Champaign, IL - Hawthorne Suites (Added 7/26/2016).
- New Additions - Bossier City, LA - 7 additional hotels/motels (Added 7/28/2016).
- Updated - New Orleans, LA - Hilton Riverside (Updated with new photos after a recent visit 7/28/2016).
- New Additions - Shreveport, LA - Holiday Inn & Sleep Inn (Added 7/28/2016).
- New Addition - Monroe, LA - Residence Inn (Added 7/28/2016).
- New Addition - Raleigh, NC - Hampton Inn (Added 11/2/2016).
- Update - Raleigh, NC - Clarion Hotel is now a Holiday Inn (Updated 11/2/2016).
- New Addition - Alexandria, VA - Residence Inn (Added 11/2/2016).
- Update - Laramie, WY - Ramada photos added at this hotel located along the Union Pacific. (Updated 11/2/2016).
Web site last updated: 3/19/2017 RailfanMotels.com