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Rochelle Railroad Park
Credited as America's first park built just for train watching (remember, Altoona's Horseshoe Curve was built for the general public to witness the marvel of the engineering of the curve). What is even more amazing is the idea of this railroad park came from political leaders in Rochelle, not railfans! They couldn't of built it better! A parking lot located between two busy railroad lines (Union Pacific & BNSF Railway), two covered picnic areas, restrooms, gift shop, BBQ, a fire pit area, radio feed (scanner), lighting for night railfanning, and a short drive to food / lodging (one railroad themed Inn which located next to the park), and its open for train watching 24-hours a day, 365 days a year!
Town / City: Rochelle, IL
Location Name: Rochelle Railroad Park
Railroad(s): Union Pacific / BNSF Railway
Rail Traffic: 80-90 trains during a 24-hour period
Site Details: Located at the diamond on the UP & BNSF in Rochelle, the well set up park includes two covered picnic areas, gift shop, and BBQ.
Restrooms on site: Yes.
Food: Drink Vending machines on site, gift shop may offer light snacks when open, other food is not within walking distance, but a short drive away. Rochelle has a wide variety of eating establishments.
Picnic Area: Yes, both covered & uncovered, bar-b-que also on side.
Parking: Yes. Free parking.
Lighted for eveing railfanning: Yes.
Scanner Frequencies: Scanner radio on site at pavilion, turned on 24-hours a day. Or tune your FM radio to 106.9 to hear the live railroad radio. If you have a scanner: UP 161.040 / BNSF 161.160
Motels / Hotels: Rochelle has several lodging establishments. The closest is the Rochelle Diamond Lodge located next to the railroad park, the lodge only has a few rooms, but does cater to railfans. Other worthwhile lodging is the Comfort Inn, and Super 8 (Super 8 has a distant fall-winter-spring railroad view). Check out RailfanMotels.com for details.
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