Austell, GA Update

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Austell, GA Update

Postby MattW » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:24 pm

Today, I finally had an opportunity to visit Austell for the first time. I understand it used to be quite the railfan hotspot, but interest has died down now that the train watching platform has been torn down. Through Google imagery, I knew that there was now a small plaza built about 150 feet east of where the platform used to be. It's nothing much, just a circle of concrete, three metal benches and two trash cans, but it's a decent place. For those maybe not so familiar with the area, it's right across from the police station, and adjacent to an un-signaled public pedestrian crossing. The downtown area north of the tracks didn't look too busy on a Friday afternoon, not quite abandoned, but not exactly hopping with activity, though you're right across the tracks from the very busy U.S. 278 and a Burger King! For the railfan side, trains heading Railroad Northbound (cardinal westbound) might not blow their horns until they're almost on top of you though the train I caught today was moving very slow and might be an exception. SB trains you get more warning due to more grade crossings to the west of the city. The plaza itself is "inside" a control point, so while you can't see signal aspects from the area, they are just on either side of the city so you should get at least some warning if you have a scanner. I was only there about 40 minutes today, but caught three trains during that time, two of which passed each other in front of me. Because of the plaza's location on the north side of the tracks, pictures aren't quite as good due to the sun angle, especially in winter, but it didn't seem unmanageable to me.

I'd say the city is definitely worth a visit again. Being so close to the police station makes me just a tad skittish given our sometimes spotted history with law enforcement and photographing trains, but I didn't actually see any police traffic on the south side of the building, it was the public entrance side, all of the patrol cars seemed to enter/exit on the back side.
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Re: Austell, GA Update

Postby lakeshoredave » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:53 am

i hear austell is one of the busiest spots on the ns.
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Re: Austell, GA Update

Postby JamesT4 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:01 pm

MattW wrote:Today, I finally had an opportunity to visit Austell for the first time. I understand it used to be quite the railfan hotspot, but interest has died down now that the train watching platform has been torn down. Through Google imagery, I knew that there was now a small plaza built about 150 feet east of where the platform used to be. It's nothing much, just a circle of concrete, three metal benches and two trash cans, but it's a decent place. For those maybe not so familiar with the area, it's right across from the police station, and adjacent to an un-signaled public pedestrian crossing. The downtown area north of the tracks didn't look too busy on a Friday afternoon, not quite abandoned, but not exactly hopping with activity, though you're right across the tracks from the very busy U.S. 278 and a Burger King! For the railfan side, trains heading Railroad Northbound (cardinal westbound) might not blow their horns until they're almost on top of you though the train I caught today was moving very slow and might be an exception. SB trains you get more warning due to more grade crossings to the west of the city. The plaza itself is "inside" a control point, so while you can't see signal aspects from the area, they are just on either side of the city so you should get at least some warning if you have a scanner. I was only there about 40 minutes today, but caught three trains during that time, two of which passed each other in front of me. Because of the plaza's location on the north side of the tracks, pictures aren't quite as good due to the sun angle, especially in winter, but it didn't seem unmanageable to me.

I'd say the city is definitely worth a visit again. Being so close to the police station makes me just a tad skittish given our sometimes spotted history with law enforcement and photographing trains, but I didn't actually see any police traffic on the south side of the building, it was the public entrance side, all of the patrol cars seemed to enter/exit on the back side.


Glad you had a good time there, it is one of the best places to go to in Atlanta

I like going to Austell, I don't live in the area, but when I come down to Atlanta on Vacation I always spend one or 2 days railfanning Austell. I don't worry about Austell PD, I never had issues with them, they never said nothing to me, I am more likely to get a run in from NS Police, but I never seen them when I am there.

As with the railfan platform,from what I was told that the train watching platform is at the park down behind the police station, because I was told by some local railfans the last time I was there that the platform was removed because NS complained that it's train crews going west could not see the crossing(Don't know how true was that.)

Last time I was there, I was there most of the day, & caught 20+ trains.
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