• Best Chicago "Hot Spots"

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by Rabscuttle
 
I am planning on going to Chicago next month with my kids and would love to visit two or three train-watching "hot spots" while I am there: Great places that are generally publically accessable or visible that get lots of Freight and Metra traffic located in Chicago or inner suburbs including NW Indiana.

If you know a good spot please tell me as much as you can about....

1. Approx number of trains per day and what railroad companies/types of trains run there.
2. Exact location: GPS coordinates or nearest intersection
3. Interlocking towers: Are their operational/abandoned interlocking towers at the site?
4. Safety. Is it in an area relatively safe to visit?
5. What is the best time of day/week to visit in terms of train traffic?
6. Amenities: Are their parks or playgrounds nearby? How about restaurants?
7. Parking. Is their street parking or public parking nearby?

Also, if anyone knows of an affordable but clean/safe motel that is near some of these spots, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for any detailed information you can provide on your favorite Chicago hot spots.

Drew
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That railfanning website seems to be very good. I, myself, will be in the CHI area for a cross country train trip, and would like to hit up some of those spots, especially Western Ave, Roosevelt Rd.

I have a question about Kedzie. How safe is the neighborhood around it. Thanks.
  by doepack
 
If you're talking about Kedzie on Metra's UP/W line, the area is a mix of residential and light industrial, there's also a high school (Westinghouse) nearby as well. It's a pretty busy area during weekdays, but much quieter on weekends. Overall, it's not bad, but it can be a bit seedy after dark, so use appropriate caution...
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Thanks. I won't be fanning after dark.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
When I'm in CHI later this summer, I'm interested about Blue Island. I would get there by train. What are my chances of seeing freight action there from one of the Metra platforms there, during the a.m. rush? thanks
  by CHTT1
 
Iowa Interstate's yard is just north of the Vermont Street station. The inbound train arrives after the morning rush hour and the outbound leaves just before the start of the afternoon rush. There might be some switching going on.