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 893 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!
- 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).
-Updated - Arburn, WA - Travelodge, new pictures & review after a recent visit. (Updated 3/28/2017)
- Updated - Harrisburg, PA - Comfort Inn, new pictures & review after recent visit. (Updated 3/29/2017)
- Updated - Morrow, GA - Quality Inn, new pictures & review after a recent visit. (Updated 3/29/2017)
- New Addition - Washington, PA - Microtel Inn (Added 3/30/2017).
- Updated - Proctor, MN - Country Inn & Suites is now a Best Western (Updated 5/14/2017).
Update 3/28/2017 - The reason there has not been many updates in the past several months is due to our web host changing their internal format which doesn't support the current set up that organizes this web site. This makes new pages look & function differently then what we have now. After running several tests and getting the web host involved, the only answer is to convert the 900+ pages to the new format. Since either way, its going to take hundreds of hours to relay this web site, we are strongly contemplating a move over to a better rated, more user friendly web host. Also, the "Contact Us" tag on the left side of the screen doesn't seem to deliver messages anymore. Please use the Contact Us tab up in the menu bar located at the top of the web pages. If you don't get a reply in a timely manor, you likely hit the wrong contact button. Whatever we decide, you will always be able to find us at RailfanMotels.com
Web site last updated: 5/14/2017 RailfanMotels.com