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Rochelle Railroad Park, Rochelle
(3.8/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
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 connects the eastern portion of the UP's mainline with the western portion of the BNSF's mainline. While this parking location allowed the railfans to see a great distance down the western portion of the 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.The city chose the eastern quadrant of the crossing in which to build the park. Many factors went into the selection of the eastern quadrant, but by using it, the city was able to erect an elevated viewing platform with a gazebo-style roof, picnic tables, an area to build a re-creation of a hobo jungle, a display of strap rail track, a small preserved Whitcomb switching locomotive (manufactured by the Whitcomb Locomotive Works of Rochelle), and a paved parking lot. The amenities are further enhanced with public restrooms, vending machines, wireless internet and a small model railroad shop.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Park is clean, but is very disappointing now that it is a quiet zone. Pretty much sealed the deal of us not visiting again. Bring back the train horns!! 
  • Wonderful place to watch trains go by every few minutes. There is a gazebo, you can listen to the dispatchers, and there is even WiFi. Can't be beat! 
  • This place is very easy to get to. There is no charge to park in the parking lot. Handicap parking is available. It is also very easy for those using wheelchair to travel on the path that leads to the...  more »