Best places for railfanning in the Northeast

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Best places for railfanning in the Northeast

Postby SeanW » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:16 pm

Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the best forum for this, but I'm hoping someone can advise nevertheless.

I am vising the US for the next week or two and I'd like to see and video/photo freight trains. Ideally close to those long ass freight trains, carrying various things like boxcars, tankers and so on, traveling at various speeds. Naturally I don't know anything about the various railroad freight schedules, nor have radio listeners or anything like that.

Where around the New York area, would one be likely to see freight trains passing frequently (i.e. without knowing a railroad schedule). Are there places where such trains run commonly?
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Re: Best places for railfanning in the Northeast

Postby rr503 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:20 am

If you're in NY, try Bound Brook NJT station. You can get there by train, and both CSX and NS run plenty of freights on the tracks just south of the south platform. There are signals there too so you can predict movements. I wouldn't go there at night though.

If you're feeling more adventurous (and have a car) try CSX's River Sub along the west side of the Hudson. Many trains in great scenery. The area around Bear Mountain has some spots where you can go down to the river to get close, along with places where you can watch from above (I can elaborate if you like). For photographs, keep in mind that because it's on the west side, you'll want to go in the AM, as it'll fall into shadow pretty quickly in the afternoon.

Without leaving the city limits, you can check out NY&A's Fresh Pond Yard, where all freight for LI is sorted. There is almost always some switching going on there, so you're sure to catch something moving (if that's your plan I'd take a look at the NYA forum -- more detailed info there). You can also try to snag the trains that get the freight from the Bronx/CT to the yard -- for info on those, check out the CSX Oak Point/Fremont thread in the CSX forum.

Finally, New York is host to the last regularly operating railcar float in the states. It runs from 65th st yard in Brooklyn over to NJ, operating as NYNJ Rail. The rr also street-runs up 1st Ave in Brooklyn occasionally to serve a recycling customer, but that move is rare and IINM in the early morning. The car float is daily (usually multiple round trips) so if you get there in the AM something should be moving (see NYNJ topic in its forum).
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