Oak lawn, IL - Hilton Chicago / Oak Lawn
Address: 9333 South Cicero Avenue Phone: 708-425-7800
Location/ Directions: Take I-55 South. Exit onto Cicero Avenue South. Continue South on Cicero Avenue approximately 3 miles to 94th Street and turn left at Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn hotel entrance.
Average Price (Checked Feb 2014): $194.00 AAA Rated: n/a Stars: (n/a)
About Hotel: 13-Floors, 184-Rooms, Interior Corridors, Separate Bathroom, Free WiFi access, two-line phones with voicemail, Alarm Clock with MP3 connection, Work Desk and Ergonomic desk chair, 32-inch TV, Coffee maker, Iron/board, Hair Dryer, Free Self Parking, No Pets Allowed, Restaurant and Cafe on site, Business Center, Cribs, High chairs, Elevators, Gift Shop, Laundry, Local Area Transportation, On-Site Convenience Store, Room Service, Fitness Room, Pool, Air Conditioning, Black-Out Curtains, Connecting Rooms, Thermostat (adjustable), Newspaper M-F (USA Today).
Railroad View: Excellent View! The hotel is a round building, any room 5th floor or higher, with a view of the north side will offer a railroad view. (See floor plan for best room numbers).
Railroads past Hotel: METRA / Norfolk Southern Railway (Former Norfolk & Western trackage). Most rail traffic past the hotel are Metra diesel powered trains. Weekdays between 5am and 12:30am; there are 30 Metra commuter trains. Saturdays; Only 6 Metra trains. Sunday NONE.
Railroad Radio Frequency: 160.440 Metra Southwest Sub Dispatcher.
Notes: Within walking distance of Boston Market, White Castle, and a few other eateries. Area seems like a safe area, busy but safe!
Comments: Hotel is about a 15-minute drive away from the Downers Grove Metra station. Downers grove is a great place to watch trains. Its located on the "Racetrack" with Metra, BNSF, and Amtrak trains keeping railfans entertained! Its the best nearby location to train-watch.
Photo Comment: Right Photo: Looking west out of room #606 (or #706), the double track main crosses Cicero Avenue. Trains do not blow their horns for this crossing. Below Photo: Looking east from room # 811, a Metra train is eastbound with the locomotive shoving on the rear. All passenger trains seen during my stay had the locomotives on the west end of the trains. With that being said, I recommend rooms that end with x10 or x11. These rooms face northeast, and will be best for photographs of passenger train with the locomotives on the west end of the trains.
Photo Comments: Above: The hotel floor plan will help you choose the best rooms for the view of the railroad during your stay. Anything above the 5th floor should be fine. Replace the "X" with the floor number, and the second two digits for room location. Rooms that end with 06,07,08 will offer views looking west. Rooms that end with 08,09,10 are the closest to the railroad. Rooms that end with 10,11,12 will offer views looking east down the railroad. I had room #811, which in my opinion was the best room I could have received!
Left Photo: I only saw a couple freight trains during my stay, both were Norfolk Southern's. Here a eastbound Roadrailer train passes the hotel. This was the only daytime fright train I saw during my 17-hour stay.
Photo Comments: These three photo were taken from room # 811. The view of the railroad is excellent! A zoom lens is not needed. There is not much advance warning of approaching trains. Have a Metra timetable handy; this will let you know when to look for trains. The Metra Oak Lawn station is a couple minutes west of the hotel (rail travel time). Weekdays are best for railfans to stay at this hotel, as the train frequency is best during the week! At night; viewing and videotaping passing trains is possible thanks to the "light pollution" of Oak Lawn. After 12:30am, the railroad gets very quiet. Only a Norfolk Southern local freight passed around 1am.