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.- Plant City, FL & Park Forest, IL train-watching platforms have been added to the Train Watching Locations page (Added 3/12/2014)
- Tunnel Inn in Gallitzin, PA has been removed. Tunnel Inn is no longer in the lodging business. (Updated 4/1/2014).
- Update: Spokane, WA - Ramada Limted is now a Howard Johnson motel. (Updated 5/6/2014).
- New Addition - Laramie, WY - Ramada (Added 5/13/2014).
- New Addition - Winchester, VA - Comfort Inn (Added 5/15/2014).
- Update - Goldsboro, NC - Holiday Inn Express is now a Best Western (Updated 5/18/2014).
- Update - Kingsley Inn in Fort Madison, Iowa has been updated (Updated 6/3/2014).
- Selma, North Carolina has been added as a hot spot on our Railfan Locations page (Added 6/6/2014).
- New Addition - Roanoke, VA - Cambria Suites (Added 6/10/2014).
- We are updating our RailfanLocations website as well as moving it to another web host to avoid the pop-up ads that the old provider is now throwing in. The new site is RailfanLocations.weebly.com The new site will come with a lot of techical improvments; no-ads, larger & higher quality photos, and a mobile site for hend held users. These are just some of the advances we are bringing to this new site. We also plan to add additional locations later this year. (6/14/2014)
- New Addition - Chester, MA - Chester Railway Station Caboose Rental (Added 6/29/2014).
- New Addition - Jamaica, NY - Howard Johnson (Added 7/2/2014).
- New Addition - Largo, FL - Holiday Inn Express (Added 7/3/2014).
- New Addition - New Orleans, LA - Motels 6 (Added 7/3/2014).
- New Addition - Barboursville, WV - Hampton Inn (Added 7/3/2014).
- New Addition - Peachtree City, GA - Hilton Garden Inn (Added 7/4/2014).
- Updated - Days Inn in Denison, Iowa is now the Denison Inn (Updated 7/9/2014).
- 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.
Web site last updated: 8/4/2014 RailfanMotels.com