Rochelle Railroad Park, Rochelle

4.2
#64 of 136 in Parks in Illinois
The Rochelle Railroad Park is a city park located in Rochelle, Illinois, where railfans can safely view and photograph trains. The park is situated in the eastern quadrant of the diamond crossing between the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) mainlines between Chicago and points west.The two mainlines cross at a location on the southwest side of Rochelle. The UP's (formerly the Chicago and North Western Railway's) mainline travels through the crossing from the southwest to northeast, and the BNSF's (formerly the Burlington Northern Railroad's) mainline travels the northwest to southeast corners.Before the city of Rochelle built the park, railfans typically parked just short of an interchange siding connecting the two railroads in the northern quadrant of the crossing. The interchange track connected the northern track of the eastern portion of the UP's mainline with the northern track of the western portion of the BNSF's mainline. While this parking location allowed the railfans to see a great distance towards the West along UP's mainline, many vehicles were parked too close to the interchange track to be safe if a train were to use the interchange. Additionally, there was no protection to keep trespassers off the tracks themselves. This Northern interchange track has since been removed although a longer interchange siding still exists on the South quadrant of the crossing.
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Rochelle Railroad Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
77 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Not much of a train fan myself they are way too loud and boring for me. It is a little area with a covered area for train watching and a little museum that is open limited hours. If you love trains or...  more »
  • This is a great spot for anyone that enjoys trains. The gift shop was hot and the cashier wasn't very friendly...  more »
  • A nice park, with a covered seating area, a grill and a fire pit. There is also a small gift shop with coffee and snacks. You can also use the monitor to track the arrival of freight traffic. Great fo...  more »
Google
  • I've been going here for almost 20 years. You will be hard pressed to find a spot where you can see more trains in one day anywhere near the Rockford metropolitan area. There is also a great shelter to sit under, play area for kids, and gift shop if you need to warm up/want to get a souvenir. There is also a detailed map of what trains will be coming when inside, just as the attendant to help you read it the first time because it can be tricky.
  • Great place to visit. The Nostalgia will take you back to a Time Gone by. The View on the Internet TV EarthCam is fabulous, but it is best viewed in person.
  • Spent a great afternoon with a 6 and 7 year old. They had a great time as we saw 11 trains in just a couple of hours. We all enjoyed barbecuing on the grills in the park. Great covered area with picnic tables to enjoy our food. All in all a great way to spend a Sunday!
  • When I went here on vacation. Rochelle was a decent place to railfan at first. But I ran into problems with some other railfans. I heard or seen foamers freak out here if your in their shot. I dont like it we dont need railfans like that in this world. Rochelle still was a cool place to fan with the gazebo you have about 40 BNSF trains a day and about 50 Union Pacific trains a day. Note that this place is a Quiet Zone now meaning the trains cannot blow their horns. Which sucks in my opinion. I give this place a 3/5.
  • I don't think it's as busy as it used to be but it's still pretty busy. What's astounding are the amenities that you find here on the grounds. There is even a nice little park grill so you can bring your own charcoal and meats and have a real sausage fest while watching trains. I think they do a lot of maintenance during the weekends on the diamonds so if you are here on a Saturday don't be surprised if you see a work crew for a few hours but I can guarantee you that when they are done the floodgates open.

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