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 915 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!
Update - Stay Lodge in Dalton, GA has been removed due to numerous reports of the poor conditions of property, and negative clientele. (Updated 3/12/19).
Update - Auroa, IL - Comfort Inn is now a Holiday Inn Express (Updated 3/12/2019).
New Addition - The Henry Clay Inn - Ashland, VA (Added 3/12/2019).
New Addition - Kalamazoo, MI - Comfort Inn (Added 3/12/2019).
New Addition - Sacramento, CA - Holiday Inn (Added 3/14/2019).
Update - After a recent visit, the Nugget Hotel in Sparks, NV has been updated with new photos and a more detailed review. (Updated 3/14/2019).
Update - Little Falls, NY - Knights Inn is now Travelodge (Updated 5/1/2019).
Update - Rochester, NY - Motel 6 is now a Red Roof Inn (Updated 5/1/2019).
Update - Rochester, NY - Quality Inn is now a Rodeway Inn (Updated 5/1/2019).
Removed - Lackawanna, NY - La Quinta Inn, railroad & yard have been removed. No more trains near hotel. (Updated 12/23/2019)
New Additions - Longmont, CO - Best Western & SpringHill Suites. (Added 12/24/2019).
New Addition - Boulder, CO - Hampton Inn (Added 12/24/2019).
New Additions - Carter Lake, IA - Country Inn & Suites / La Quinta Inn (Added 12/25/2019).
New Additions - Omaha, NE - 4 hotels total (Added 12/25/2019).
New Addition - Gallitzin, PA - Gallitzin Tunnel Inn (Added 12/25/2019).
Updated - The Kingsman, AZ page has been updated. Two motels have been removed, Rodeway Inn has closed to become a residence, and the 1st Value Inn has been torn down and replaced with a new truck wash. Maguson Hotel is now a Ramada. (Updated 12/26/2019).