It all started in the late 1980's with a story published in Train's Magazine about the railroad action in Galesburg, Illinois. There happened to be a couple sentences of a great place to stay in town, a Howard Johnson Hotel that overlooked the Santa Fe Railroad mainline. I took a trip, and became hooked on "Railfan Motels"! Because really folks... why should railfanning stop when it's time to head for the motel? I've since become a frequent visitor to Galesburg. The hotel still plays host for the greatest show on the BNSF. The hotel later became a Ramada and is currently a Broad View Inn. The view is great and the trains are plentiful.
Finding these hotels became much easier once the web became a common tool. Our plan is to compose a list of verified motel / hotel properties, give you as much information that we can about each location. As more of us railfans use these motels, we have a better chance of the management maintaining the railroad view (meaning no trees or walls to obstruct view). Cumberland, Maryland's Holiday Inn is leading the way, clearing brush & some trees just for railfans, they also have a Railfan Rate which includes a nice breakfast!
Currently we list 817 reviews of “Railfan Motels”. These are located throughout the United States. The properties we rate are verified, including pictures and notes of the visit. Passing along a personal experience can help you have an indication of what to expect, but note that RailfanMotels.com doesn’t guarantee and is not responsible for motel/hotel conditions, services, cleanliness, rates, or other conditions that may not result as the same experience as our field scouts encountered. We are members of AAA, and refer to the AAA rating system for our reviews on this web site.
We will continue to populate the listings. We have a long list of motels/hotels to check. Once we approve them, you’ll see them here on RailfanMotels.com !
Check us out before you take your next trip! Happy Railfanning!
- Coming soon; The motels of Gallup, NM / Alamosa, CO / Harriman, TN. We went like bandits through these towns to find the best (and all) Railfan Motels. We came up with a large list! Stay tuned.- Update - Super 8 in Denison, IA will become a Travelodge in mid-August 2014 (Updated 7-31-2014).
- Most of the links on the Train Watching page have been updated to reach RailfanLocations.weebly.com, our updated website for train watching.
- The Tehachapi Depot in California has been added to RailfanLocations web site. Its the latest railfan park with 24/7 accessibility for train watching.
- Update - Spokane, WA - Howard Johnson's is now called Ruby2 Hotel (Updated 10/29/2014).
Web site last updated: 10/29/2014 RailfanMotels.com