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Railfanning Chicago at Lisle, Illinois

Railfanning Chicago at Lisle, Illinois, is good for those hard winter days. You know, the ones that sometimes feel like it requires all the preparation, gear, and endurance of the Amundsen South Pole expedition. This is what makes Lisle, on BNSF Railway’s triple-track main line between Chicago and Aurora, Ill., is a good place to […]

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Railfanning Chicago: La Fox, Illinois

  One in an occasional series on Senior Editor David Lassen’s favorite Chicago-area railfan locations Railfanning LaFox, Illinois Well west of Chicago, in a still mostly rural area with suburbia gradually encroaching, is La Fox, Ill., on Union Pacific’s Geneva Subdivision. There’s barely a community to speak of, but it does have a Metra station. […]

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Railfanning Chicago: BNSF’s shoofly (updated)

Trains Senior Editor David Lassen spends much of his free time in the Chicago area. This is the first in a series of Trains.com articles on his favorite rail photography locations. UPDATED Dec. 15, 2021, with removal of shoofly. BNSF Railway’s celebrated “racetrack” — the triple-track mainline of the Chicago Division between downtown Chicago and […]

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Beverly Branch railfanning near Chicago with image gallery

Introduction to the Beverly Branch The Beverly Branch is a unique segment of Metra’s 11-line commuter rail network. While there are other branch lines — two on the Electric District, one on the UP Northwest line — this one is essentially an alternate route, a 6-mile diversion from the Rock Island District main line providing […]

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Amtrak Hiawatha Chicago day trip

Amtrak Hiawatha Chicago day trip: Chicago is indisputably the heart of American railroading. Represented by six Class I railroads, Amtrak, Metra, the South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority, and a long-list of short line and regional railroads, the city offers a magnitude of rail focal points and it’s little surprise that access to Chicago’s greatest […]

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Rio Grande railfanning

Think “Rio Grande” and one imagines long freights grinding through the tunnels and screeching around the tight curves of the Front Range, or coal drags with multiple helpers creeping up Soldier Summit or winding through the double horseshoe at Gilluly. Not as frequently considered, yet almost entirely accessible end-to-end, is the stretch from Dotsero, at […]

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Trains LIVE — Joseph Lister

Trains LIVE — Joseph Lister Trains LIVE — 09-28-2022 — The Mayo Clinic ranks among the world’s preeminent medical facilities. As Doctors Will and Charlie Mayo expanded the care-giving clinic started by their parents in 1864, little did they realize that their reputation would draw people in need of help from all corners of the […]

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Why I love the Electro-Motive Division SD40-2

Why I love the Electro-Motive Division SD40-2 Many modelers have a locomotive that they are fond of, probably one of their first models that they received as a kid. My first engine was an O gauge F7, a far cry from the locomotive that I love, the Electro-Motive Division SD40-2. In fact, nine years later […]

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Amtrak Coach-class travel aboard the Empire Builder

Amtrak looks to expand its services and routes across the nation, including the Upper Midwest. In this candid look at Coach-class travel aboard the Empire Builder between St. Paul, Minn., and Milwaukee, Wis., you’ll discover how easy and comfortable it is to travel about the United States by passenger train. First-time traveler Gerry Leone has […]

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Amtrak insider travel tips from Marc Magliari

Trains.com Director David Popp sits down with Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari for a casual conversation about traveling aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, one of America’s premiere, long-distance passenger trains. On the Empire Builder route between Chicago, Ill., and Seattle, Wash./Portland, Ore., passengers get to experience bustling urban centers and the natural beauty of two mountain ranges. […]

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