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 called 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). When booking a room make a special request and ask for a room with a view of the railroad. Each motel/hotel listed details the best area of the property for a railroad view.
Currently we list 868 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 - Hornell, NY - Comfort Inn is now Best Western in Hornell, NY (Updated 8/18/2015).
- Update - Red Lion Hotel in Vancouver, WA has been removed. The hotel closed Oct 31, 2015 - property will be redeveloped by the Port of Vancouver (Updated 12/2/15)
- New Addition - Corry, PA - Cobblestone Inn & Suites (Added 12/2/2015).
- New Addition - Burlington, WA - Fairfield Inn (Added 12/2/2015).
- New Addition - Richland, WA - Holiday Inn Express (Added 12/2/2015).
- New Addition - Chehalis, WA - Best Western (Added 12/2/2015).
- New Addition - Dupont, WA - Hampton Inn (Added 12/6/2015).
- Updated - Fresno, CA has been updated. Due to the future High Speed Rail project scheduled to begin, we lost 5 motels (more will close soon) as the city will be moving the 99 freeway over to make room for the new railroad tracks that will run between the freeway and the Union Pacific tracks. This is an improvement since this area of the city was considered the ghetto - the motels that were closed & torn down were not recommended by RailfanMotels. The motels removed from our listings include Relax Inn, Paradise Inn Motel, Del-Mar Motel, Star Lite Inn, Astro Motel. At the same time we gained one new hotel - Hampton Inn Fresno-Northwest has been added to the web site. (Updated 12/7/2015).
- New Addition - Harrison, NJ - Hampton Inn (Added 1/12/2016).
- New Addition - Franklin, VA - Super 8 (Added 1/12/2016).
- New Addition - Reading, PA (West Reading, PA) - Candlewood Suites (Added 1/12/2016).
- New Addition - Temple, TX - Holiday Inn (Added 1/12/2015).
- New Addition - Oldsmar, FL - Hampton Inn (Added 1/12/2016).
- New Addition - Pensacola, FL - Crowne Plaza Hotel (Added 1/12/2016).
- New Addition - Arlington, OR - Rodeway Inn (Added 1/14/2016).
- New Addition - Beaverton, OR - Comfort Inn (Added 1/14/2016).
Web site last updated: 1/14/2016 RailfanMotels.com