We decided to stop by The Rochelle Railroad Park on the way home from Rock Island. I read about this park in one of my books and it sounded so interesting. What makes the park so special? Since it is the crossroads of the Union Pacific and BNSF Railway, the junction forms two double tracks that cross each other forming four “diamonds.” meaning that lots and lots of pass by in about a 24 hour period – 80 to 120 trains pass through. In fact, so many people would come by and just watch trains that the city of Rochelle actually created this park in 1998.
The fun: This park was constructed for one reason – to sit and view the trains go by. You can also tune your radio to 106.9FM to hear the train dispatchers for a really unique experience. We saw 3 different freight trains when we were there. Since they were moving slowly, my son was able to savor each moment the train passed by.
Son’s favorite moment: Getting to see lots of moving trains up close
Parent’s favorite moment: Seeing son’s delight as all the trains pass by
Bottom Line: If you are in the area, by all means make a stop here, especially if you’ve got a train fan. It will not disappoint. If the weather’s nice, bring some food and have a picnic.If you want to make it whole day event, they have Rochelle Railroad Days the first weekend in June. If you want to explore the city of Rochelle, check out the 1918 Standard Oil Filling Station which is now the Visitor’s Center. Would make for great photos. Check out trainsmag.com to see the Rochelle webcame.