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 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 and a Rochelle Train Park Gift Shop.
There is even a railroad scanner installed with speakers in the picnic area so visitors can hear the radio traffic on the two railroads. Since both railroads have defect detectors nearby to the west of the crossing that signal train statuses over the radio, the scanner is often an indication of when an eastbound train is about to appear at Rochelle. The presence of westbound trains is indicated by nearby grade crossing signals to the east of the park. Trains Magazine operates an internet webcam atop the viewing platform's roof that photographs every train to travel through the crossing during daylight hours.
The Rochelle Railroad Park has been an inspiration and model for other parks around the country.
For more information on the Rochelle Diamond Lodge:
Call 815-561-7076, or contact the Rochelle Diamond Lodge online