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Homewood Railroad Viewing Platform

In 2007, the Village of Homewood has opened a railfan park and equipment display adjacent to Canadian National's ex-Illinois Central main line.  The park is located on the east side of the Canadian National line also used by Amtrak. Just west of the CN is the Metra Electric commuter line. Including Metra trains, train counts at this location routinely exceed 100 per day on the 8 tracks seen from the platform.  Action includes CN/IC, Amtrak, and Metra, along with Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern trackage-rights trains.

The viewing platform is located just south of one of the few remaining steam-era Illinois Central multi-track signal bridges on the railroad. The south throat of CN's busy Markham Yard is just a few hundred yards north of the platform site.  Downtown Homewood offers a variety of shops and restaurants just a short walk from the site, including a Starbucks across the street.

The equipment display is located on the west side of the right of way includes Illinois Central GP10 8408 in the 1990s black scheme and IC caboose 9426 in the 1960's orange "I-Ball" scheme.  An underground pedestrian tunnel connects the east & west sides on the tracks.  Do not trespass, or try to cut across the tracks.  An 8-track mainline is at this park, trains can come in any direction at any time, the electric passenger trains can come quietly and quickly, CN, METRA and local police are strict about trespassing. 

 

Location info:

Town / City:   Homewood, IL

 

Location Name: Homewood Railfan Platform

 

Railroad(s):  Canadian National (former IC) / Amtrak / METRA / Union Pacific (via trackage rights) / Norfolk Southern (via trackage rights).

 

Rail Traffic:  Expect around 100 trains per day which include a majority being METRA electric trains.

 

Site Details:  Located on the eastside of the mainline which will make photography be best during the morning hours, the CN / Amtrak tracks will be closest to the viewing area, METRA tracks are located on the westside of the CN tracks.  Excellent, clear pictures can be achieved for all passing trains!

 

Restrooms on site:  No, Starbucks across the street does have a restroom. 

 

Food:  None on site, again Starbucks across the street is the best bet for a light snack.

 

Picnic Area:  None on site.

 

Parking:  Visitors should park in a municipal lot, as the pay/permit lots immediately surrounding the Metra station are not free and cars are subject to fines if they do not pay or display the proper permit. Plenty of free parking is available, including a lot right across the street from the platform.

 

Lighted for evening railfanning:  Yes.

 

Scanner Frequencies: CN 161.190 / Metra 161.025

 

Motels / Hotels:  No railfan motels nearby.  No hotels within walking distance.  However, for those who have a few extra dollars to spare, RailfanMotels.com list two top notch hotels in Chicago.  Both hotels are located within walking distance of Chicago's Millennium Station.  Just take METRA between to / from Homewood, no automobile needed!  For info, visit RailfanMotels.com, [Click: Illinois, Then: Chicago].  For the road warriors with an automobile, there is a Sleep Inn and Comfort Suites located one town north in Lansing, IL.

 

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