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Cresson Railroad Observation Platform
Located on the south side on the Norfolk Southern (former Pennsylvania Rail Road) mainline and across from the helper servicing station is the Cresson Railroad Observation Platform. Built just for train watching, this elevated deck is complete with a radio scanner so you can keep up with the railroad conversations. This is a busy railroad line, with around 60 trains a day, plus helper moves. Several times a day a freight may stop right at the observation deck to add on helpers to a train. The deck is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The area has enough light to railfan at night. Besides the deck, there is a gazebo, and a Pennsylvania N5c caboose displayed on site. The parking lots in Cresson are free, and easily accessible. This railfan hotspot is a 2-minute walk to the Station Inn, a popular railroad themed Inn that overlooks the railroad tracks. Guests can actually watch trains from the Station Inn's front porch! Cresson is located between Galliztin and Cassandra, two of the other "hotspots" listed on this website.
Town / City: Cresson, PA
Location Name: Cresson Railroad Observation Platform
Railroad(s): Norfolk Southern / Amtrak (2 passes daily, both during daylight) / RJ Corman Railroad (Cresson is the interchange point with Norfolk Southern).
Rail Traffic: Heavy, expect 60 trains during a 24-hour period, plus helper engines that run through on their way to their next assignment. Amtrak's Pennsylvanian passes twice daily (one in each direction), and RJ Corman frights maybe seen around once a day to interchange coal traffic / and pick up empty hoppers to / from Norfolk Southern in Cresson.
Site Details: A elevated, uncovered wooded constructed platform, accessed with a ramp. The railroad itself is elevated through Cresson, which will still place you below the trains. A former PRR caboose is also displayed. A covered gazebo and some picnic tables are also located on the site.
Restrooms on site: No. There is a Sheetz Mini-mart and McDonalds down the street, they would be the best choices.
Food: Not on site. Sheetz, Subway, and McDonalds can be found nearby (10 minute walk, or a quick drive)
Picnic Area: Yes.
Parking: Yes, free parking in town owned lots along the railroad.
Lighted for evening railfanning: Yes.
Scanner Frequencies: 160.800
Motels / Hotels: The Station Inn is the one and only motel in Cresson (I think), luckily, its a popular railroad themed Inn, and very recommended! We list it on RailfanMotels.com [click, Pennsylvania, then Cresson]. Other nearby lodging can be found in Ebensburg or Altoona.