Directory of Campgrounds and Motels/Hotels near Railroads


Please note: Effective June 2009 this directory is no longer being updated. Please do not submit new entries for inclusion in this list.


Plains Region, United States

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Arkansas


Many Islands Campground
Hardy, AR
USA
Comments: "In Arkansas (USA), Many Islands Campground is right next to the Burlington Northern railroad tracks. The campground is located north of Hardy, Arkansas on highway 63 about 10 miles or so. You have to watch for signs on the left side of the roadway. It's on one of the worst roads in Arkansas, but is a popular place to camp."
"Also something that might be of interest and is not something that you normally see, if you rent a canoe from Many Islands Campground (they supply transportation up river to allow you to float back down to your original location) you will likely see at least one train at various locations, snaking it's way along the same BNSF line and banks of Spring River that's mentioned above. In fact, you will walk through a tunnel that goes directly underneath the BNSF line ot get to the canoes once you are at the drop off point. If you see a train as you float along the river, wave at the train crew as they pass by. You're almost always guaranteed a wave back and a blast on the horn in return. A slightly unusual experience."
" When the trains roll through (at all times of the day and night), they sound like they're coming right through the tent."
"The campground is located right next to Spring River, which is a clear, spring fed river that is one of the most popular rivers for recreation in Arkansas. The camp store also rents canoes and provides transportation up river to the drop off point. Along the way down the river, expect to see at least one train snaking it's way along the river bank, and sometimes more. If you float down the river and see one of the trains, give them an big wave and they'll almost always blow their horn as a 'hello' in return. Be sure to take a waterproof camera. The trains running along the bluffs of this beautiful river is something you'll want a picture of."--19 Aug 2001
"There's also a motel in Hardy that is not directly next to the tracks, but is close enough to see, hear, and probably feel the big giants roll past. It is located at the intersection of highway 63 and highway 412. This is the same tracks that roll past Many Islands Campground."
"There are lots of antique stores in the town of Hardy. Highway 63, which goes through the middle of town and unfortunately the only way though town, is VERY narrow. Watch for pedestrians, and especially young kids."--Thu, 11 Jul 2002
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002)

Unknown
Hardy, AR
USA
Comments: "The same BNSF line [see Many Islands Campground above] winds along the banks of Spring River and runs through Hardy, Arkansas, which is a small attractive town that survives on the tourist industry. They do have a hotel that overlooks a section of the river and the railroad line but I've never stayed there so I can't say for sure how much railroad activity can be seen from the hotel. It's not directly beside the line, but is reasonably close by. There are plenty of areas in town that allow a person to sit and "railfan". Other than the antique shops and folk art vendors in Hardy, they have an excellent military museum, an impressive antique automobile museum, and numerous other places to rent a canoe for a trip down Spring River."
Source: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 (Last revision date: email)

Motel 6
Little Rock, AR
USA
Comments: "Motel 6 in Little Rock is near the tracks. Cheap too."
Source: rhunt@cix.compulink.co.uk (Last revision date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994)

Riverview Motel
Mammoth Springs, AR
USA
Phone: (870) 625-3218
Comments: " My in-laws once stayed at small hotel in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas that is directly beside the BNSF line. It wasn't anything impressive and they weren't sure if any of the rooms actually overlooked the railroad line. However, it was clean and reasonably priced. Neither of them can remember the name of the hotel and I can't find it by doing a web search. The hotel is on the left hand side of the highway as you enter town headed north on highway 63. If they find the name (phone number, address, etc.) I'll drop you a note."
"As a side note, Mammoth Springs is an attractive stopping point with a park that surrounds an extremely large spring (Mammoth Spring, of course) that is the water supply for Spring River which winds through the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks. Also at the park is a Tourist Information facility, clean rest rooms, a lake that is fed by the spring, a small aquarium, a railroad depot with a caboose, and plenty of picnic area. The stone masonry dam of the lake is very attractive (especially at night) and is clearly visible on the right hand side of the road if headed north on 63."--Thu, 11 Jul 2002
"Excellent view of the BNSF Railroad and the Spring river. Excellent place to railfan and trout fish. Ask for a room "upstairs" when you check in. The upstairs rooms are The only one that you can view the tracks and river from. Upstairs rooms enter on the highway side and have a sliding glass door and a Porch on the opposite end of the room overlooking the tracks."--Thu, 11 Dec 2003
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003)

Iowa


Harbor Motel
28163 Highway 52
Bellevue, IA 52031
USA
Phone: (319) 872-4644
Comments: "The Harbor Hotel is located north of the center of Bellevue, across US 52 from the IMRL line. Bellevue is one of those few towns where the railroad tracks go down one of the major streets in town."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Lady Luck Casino and Hotel
1777 Lady Luck Parkway
Bettendorf, IA 52722
USA
Phone: (319) 359-7280
Comments: "This property lies between the Mississippi River and the I&M Rail Link's (IMRL) line to Kansas City."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000)

Twin Bridges Motel
Bettendorf, IA
USA
Comments: "Next to I-74, a gaming riverboat, and the CP (former Milw/Dri-Line) Chicago/KC line. Motel is located next to tracks."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 07 Nov 96)

Buffalo Shores
1433 W. Front Street
Buffalo, IA 52728
USA
Phone: (319) 381-2900
Comments: "This campground is adjacent to the IMRL main line and the Mississippi River."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000)

Clinton Super 8 Motel
1711 Lincoln Way
Clinton, IA 52732
USA
Phone: 319-242-8870
Comments: "The Super 8 in Clinton has some rooms with a view of the Union Pacific's yard in Clinton. On the far side of the UP yard is the former Davenport, Rock Island & North Western line, now operated by I & M Rail Link. BNSF also operates on trackage rights on the IMRL to get to Clinton."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Clarion Hotel
227 Leclaire St.
Davenport, IA 52801
USA
Phone: (319) 324-1921
Comments: "This hotel is located next to both the Iowa Interstate Railroad's approach to the bridge it uses to cross the Mississippi River and the IMRL's main line to Kansas City."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000)

Radisson Quad Cities Plaza Hotel
111 E 2nd Street
Davenport, IA 52801
USA
Phone: (319) 322-2000
Comments: "Rooms facing the Mississippi River also face the IMRL's Kansas City main line. The Iowa Interstate's bridge over the Mississippi, about four blocks north of the hotel, may also be visible from some rooms."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000)

Kingsley Inn
707 Avenue H (US Hwy 61)
Fort Madison, IA 52627
USA
Phone: 800-441-2327
Train Frequency: "Over 100 trains per day"
Comments: "Overlooking the Mississippi River and across the street from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's double-track "Transcom" mainline, this elegant 15-room inn provides exceptional 19th-Century Victorian elegance with 21st-Century amenities. Over 100 trains per day, river barges, 1808 frontier fort and 19th-Century railroad depot museum are just outside our front door."
"(319) 372-7074"
"Visit us on the Internet at www.kingsleyinn.com."
Source: email (Last revision date: 23 Oct 2001)

Andy Mountain Campground
2338 Andy Mountain Ln.
Harpers Ferry, IA
USA
Phone: (319) 586-2123
Comments: "This campground is located across the highway from the IMRL's line along the Mississippi River. Harpers Ferry is about 12 miles north of Marquette."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Eagle Landing Bed and Breakfast
82 North St.
Marquette, IA
USA
Phone: (319) 873-2509
Comments: "This bed and breakfast is located adjacent to the IMRL's line along the Mississippi River.'
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Frontier Motel
101 S 1st St.
Marquette, IA
USA
Phone: (319) 873-3497
Comments: "This motel actually sits in the middle of the wye that connects the IMRL's line along the Mississippi and its line west through Mason City."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Port of Marquette Hotel
100 Anti-Monopoly St.
Marquette, IA
USA
Phone: (319) 873-3531
Comments: "The Port of Marquette is a hotel/casino complex. The hotel is on a bluff over town overlooking the wye connecting the IMRL's line along the Mississippi and its line west through Mason City."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000)

Varner's Caboose Bed and Breakfast
204 E. Second Street
Montpelier, IA
USA
Phone: (319) 381-3652
Comments: "A former Rock Island caboose, converted to a self-contained guest house, forms this bed and breakfast. The former Montpelier depot was moved across the Iowa 22 as a home from the SOO Line's Kansas City main line, and the caboose was placed in the backyard. Montpelier is located halfway between Davenport and Muscatine. The bed and breakfast is open all year."
Source: Passenger Train Journal, January 1992 Issue (Last revision date: Sun, 12 Feb 1995)

Days Inn
U.S. 34, just east of I-35
Osceola, IA
USA
Phone: 641-342-6666
Train Frequency: at least 30 per day, mostly unit coal trains to and from Wyoming.
Comments: All odd-numbered rooms face the BNSF (formerly CB&Q) mainline between Chicago and Denver. Also, Amtrak's CA Zephyr passes by at approx. 8AM and 8PM each day.
Source: Email (Last revision date: Wed, 9 May 2007 22:37:16 -0500)

Ramada Limited
South Sioux City, IA
USA
Comments: "BNSF's line from Sioux City to Ashland, NE is immediately adjacent to the tracks."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998)

Missouri


Arlington, The
207 E. Main
DeSoto, MO 63020
USA
Phone: (636) 337-0043
Comments: "There's a bed and Breakfast in DeSoto, Missouri that is next to the Union Pacific yard. I'm not sure how much traffic goes through but I'm suspecting pretty good action. There's a nice large front porch and balcony out front that overlooks the beautiful little town and the rail yard. There's a caboose siting next to the B&B but I don't think that it's being rented out as a room. Regardless of the railroad aspect, it's a very nice and affordable place to stay. Outdoor pool and hot tub, great restaurant, friendly folks, clean rooms, railroad out front. What could be better?"
"Web page at: http://www.arlingtonbb.com"
"Ph.: (636) 337-0043 or 888-727-3637"
Source: email (Last revision date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002)

Recess Inn
Ethel, MO
USA
Phone: 800-628-5003
Train Frequency: "There are approximately 40-50 hi speed trains on this line every day including Amtrak's Calif. Zephyr."
Comments: "The Recess Inn is located in the very small and quaint village of Ethel, Mo. about midway between Fort Madison Iowa, and Kansas City Mo, hard by the BNSF mainline from Chicago to the west coast ... The horn blowing and bell ringing are magnificent. All of this can be easily viewed from the front yard of the Recess Inn which sits on a hillside overlooking the action.The inn is located in an old school building at the decor of the rooms will delight all guests."
Source: email (Last revision date: 22 Jun 2005)

Westin Crown Center
One Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
USA
Phone: (816) 474-4400
Comments: "Some of the 745 rooms look out over the former Kansas City Union Station, now restored as the Kansas Center Science Center. The Amtrak station is only a couple of blocks away, and if they don't develop a couple of parking lots, you can see trains on the busy route that passes Union Station. In the last hour, I have seen six, a mixture of Amtrak, BNSF and UP."
"fax (816) 391-4438"
Source: email (Last revision date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000)

KOA
Springfield, MO
USA
Comments: "I STAYED AT TWO CAMPGROUNDS WITH PRETTY GOOD TRAIN TRAFFIC. WEST SIDE OF SPRINGFIELD, MO. BN. OFF OF I-44"
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998)

Regal River Front
St. Louis, MO
USA
Comments: "In St. Louis there's the Regal River Front, the building is round, south east view is best."
Source: email (Last revision date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994)

Schwegmann House
Washington, MO
USA
Phone: (636) 239-5025
Train Frequency: "The line is heavily used, and five to fifteen trains a day and night are not uncommon."
Comments: "In Washington MO, there are two places (names?) right across the street from the UP main (stl-kc)."
"It's a bed & breakfast located in downtown Washington along the waterfront (it affords an excellent view of the Missouri River), directly opposite - and overlooking, UP's double-tracked St. Louis- Kansas City mainline. Washington, MO, is also a stop for Amtrak's Kansas City Mule, and by it's current schedule one can ride from Washington to Kansas City in the morning and return the same day in the afternoon. The City of Washington has also preserved and beautifully restored both of it's former UP railroad stations there. A great place to visit for it's historic nature or strictly for train watching. I know this because I've done it on a variety of occasions in the past five years."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001)

Nebraska


Name: [None]
Fremont, NE
USA
Comments: "On US 30 just west of Fremont, Nebraska there is a large campground right next to the two track UP main between North Platte and Omaha. I haven't been there in years, but I suspect there would be plenty of trains going by to keep you awake."
Source: pop@cs.mtu.edu (Last revision date: 14 Jul 1994)

Econo Lodge
Lincoln, NE
USA
Comments: "I stayed at the Econo Lodge on the eastern outskirts of Lincoln a couple of weeks ago, with a reasonable view of the BN line. The yards are visible from several highways just west of the center."
Source: tbourne@siam.win-uk.net (Last revision date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996)

Ramada Plaza Hotel
141 North 9th
Lincoln, NE
USA
Phone: (402) 475-4011
Comments: "The Ramada Plaza Hotel in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, is the closest hotel to the Amtrak station, less than two blocks between them. Rooms on the upper floors should have a good view of the BN east-west main line."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 Sat, 12 Sep 1998)

Louisville Lakes State Park
Louisville, NE
USA
Comments: "A huge state park along the Platte River, the BN mainline runs along the south side of it. Deep in the park some of the sites are immediatly adjacent to the mainline, no fence or anything (this was 1986), so I pitched my tent a few feet from the ballast and had some major interruptions to my dreams. About 1 train/hour, on the mainline from Chicago to Denver.--Jan 31, 1996"
"I once camped at Louisville Lakes State Park in Louisville, KY [Editor's note: probably Nebraska]. BN main runs along the south side of the park, no fence, I was bike touring at the time, so I made it look like I was trying to be inconspicuous and pitched my tent.sort of behind a tree at the back of the site, right up next to the ballast. A bit foolish and too close, perhaps, but it was pretty exciting. I was dead tired, so I didn't wake up until trains were right next to me... --16 Jul 96"
Source: email (Last revision date: 16 Jul 96)

Texas


1896 Railroad House Bed & Breakfast
421 E Henderson Street
Cleburne, TX 76031
USA
Phone: 817 517-5529
Train Frequency: "Between 20 - 30 trains per day."
Comments: "The Railroad House is a former Railroad Hotel with a clear view of active railroad with BSNF and Amtrak trains. One bedroom, dining room and deck faces track. Amtrak stop within several yards."
"Historical railroad district is being established in this area. Former Santa Fe maintenance yard within a few blocks of B&B."
"I now have a website www.railroadhouse.com."
"Member of Texas Rail Tourism Alliance (TRTA)."
"800 668-1896 (if outside area)"
"Cleburne is located approximately 25 miles due south of Fort Worth and approximately 50 miles SW of Dallas. Brochure available."
Source: email (Last revision date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002)

Love's Marina & Park
211 Highway 90
Crosby, TX 77532
USA
Phone: (281) 328-2159
Train Frequency: "10 - 12 UP Trains, plus a few BNSF and KCS operating over UP."
Comments: "I am not sure what camping facilities are available, as I was treated as a picnicker, and charged $5.00 per person. I entered the campground for the photo location. The campground provides excellent views of the rail bridge over the San Jacinto River."
"Note that Love's is on business 90 and not the main route 90. If you follow the SP tracks, you will see the bridge, and then find the back road into the campground."
"Directional running is used by Union Pacific between Houston and Beaumont. Most trains on this former SP line are eastbound, as westbounds normally use the former Missouri Pacific main line to the north."
"Unfortunately the line was quiet . If I had been there a few hours earlier, I could have photographed a UP passenger special crossing the bridge! All I got was a couple of pictures of a tamper crossing the bridge. Next time."
Source: Email (Last revision date: 23 Apr 2009)

Econo-Lodge Motel
Dalhart, TX
USA
Phone: 806/249-6464
Train Frequency: "BN traffic is mainly unit coal, 15-20 trains/day including empties. SSW traffic mainly intermodal, 10-15 trains/day."
Comments: "This is an "L" shaped motel, with the point of the L about 25 feet from the diamond where the BN (Ex-FW&DC) crosses the SSW (SP, Ex-CRI&P). There are no windows on the RR side of the motel, but you can hear/feel the trains, and of course a 10-second walk puts you at the tracks."
"Dalhart is a crew change point on SSW, and layover crews stay at the Econo-Lodge. 24-hour restaurant across the street." There is also, especially for a small town, a superb museum with a fair number of RR exhibits.
Source: thompson@uhuru.uchicago.edu (Last revision date: Sun, 21 Aug 94)

Dallas Days Inn /Market Center Downtown
4500 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75219
USA
Phone: 214-522-6650
Comments: "While riding Trinity Railway Express (the commuter rail line between Dallas and Fort Worth), I noticed a Days Inn with a good view of the line I was riding. Checking the Days in web site, I believe that this is the one I saw. The Trinity Railway Express line is also used by BNSF and UP."
Source: email (Last revision date: 4 Jul 2002)

Hyatt Regency Dallas
300 Reunion Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75207
USA
Phone: Fax: (214) 651 0018
Comments: "The Hyatt Regency Dallas is literally accross the tracks from Dallas Union Station. Amtrak, Trinity Railway Express, and the Red and Blue light rail lines of Dallas Area Rapid Transit all stop at Dallas Union Station. Additionally there is considerable freight service on the line past Union Station."
Source: email (Last revision date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002)

Ramada Inn
Forth Worth, TX
USA
Comments: "Ask for a room facing the enormous yard, with beautiful old Amtrak station beyond. All sorts of trains can be seen coming and going at all hours. Texans walking around everywhere, too."
Source: email (Last revision date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000)

King's Inn
U.S. 60, just east of downtown
Hereford (between Amarillo, TX, and Clovis, NM), TX
USA
Train Frequency: at least 50 freight trains per day
Comments: Referred to as the Cattle Capital of the World, Hereford is surrounded by huge cattle yards. BNSF's (formerly Santa Fe's) principal freight line between Chicago and LA passes through here, and the motel lies across the highway, facing the mainline.
Source: Email (Last revision date: Wed, 9 May 2007)

Antlers Hotel
Kingsland, TX
USA
Comments: "The Antlers Hotel (http://www.TheAntlers.com) in Kingsland, Texas is a restored, historic railroad hotel located in the Texas Hill Country. Accommodations include hotel rooms, cabins, and cabooses. Situated on 15 acres along Lake LBJ, it is a short drive from Austin or San Antonio."
"The hotel was built by the Austin and Northwestern RR on the shores of the Colorado River and opened its doors in May, 1901. The restored hotel was reopened in 1995 and work has continued ever since. The facilities include a restaurant, gift shop, antique store, nature trails, lakeside piers, and a small conference center."
Source: email (Last revision date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000)

Swan & Railway Country Inn
PO Box 429
LaCoste, TX 78039
USA
Phone: 210-764-3742
Train Frequency: "Trains are frequent and freight and Amtrak, usually very early in the AM."
Comments: "The Swan & Railway Country Inn is a lovely small, old hotel, built in 1912, in LaCoste, Texas, twenty-five miles west of downtown San Antonio. The hotel was originally named the City Hotel designed to serve the railroad as it was developing in rural Texas. It has been restored and is now a Bed and Breakfast and has four guest rooms with private baths. Room rates range from $55-$75 and include a full cooked country breakfast. We also have a pool and hot tub. Owners live on site."
"The hotel is in the center of town facing the tracks. All guests rooms are on the second floor and have access to a wrap around porch with tables and chairs outside each room. Many guests choose to sit on the front of the building which is parallel to the mainline tracks of the Southern Pacific RR that stretches across Texas to California. Many trains fly by at a very fast speed, but a siding is near by so some trains are slowing to go on the siding and others are revving up power after sitting on the siding. For those who love to feel the power of trains, this is the place. Another interesting, but infrequent event is that trains actually stop and the crew run over to the convince store for break and snack."
"Like many old towns in this part of Texas, LaCoste developed around the RR. The tracks run through the center of town, with the businesses facing the tracks. Most of the town has declined with the lack of passenger service, but there is still a siding serving the grain elevators."
"The hotel is in the center of town facing the tracks. All guests rooms are on the second floor and have access to a wrap around porch with tables and chairs outside each room. Many guests choose to sit on the front of the building which is parallel to the mainline tracks of the Southern Pacific RR that stretches across Texas to California. Freight trains are frequent and Amtrak, usually passes very early in the AM. Many trains fly by at a very fast speed, but a siding is near by so some trains are slowing to go on the siding and others are revving up power after sitting on the siding. For those who love to feel the power of trains, this is the place. Another interesting, but infrequent event is that trains actually stop and the crew run over to the convince store for break and snack."
Source: jjlamb4343@aol.com (Last revision date: 23 Apr 1997)

La Quinta Inn
Odessa, TX
USA
Phone: 1-800-531-5900
Comments: "Right across the street from UP tracks There was a fair amount of action, and I got a number of good pictures I don't have the address, but there's only one in Odessa, and the nationwide number is 1-800-531-5900. I don't have a scanner freq. as I did not have a scanner then. Trains can be heard and seen from some rooms. Most require you to walk outside."
Source: titus@optica.gatech.edu (Last revision date: 21 Jul 1994)

Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
USA
Phone: 210-223-1000
Comments: "Rooms on the upper floors of this 30 story hotel that face south should have a good view of the UP's (former SP) Houston - El Paso main line which is located approximately four blocks to the south. Do not confuse this location with the nearby Marriott Riverwalk which is only 18 stories high and likely to have fewer rooms that have a view of the railroad."
"Fax: 210-223-6239"
Source: email (Last revision date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996)

Katy House
Po Box 803
Smithville, TX 78957
USA
Phone: (512) 237-426s
Comments: "We have a bed and breakfast in Smithville, Texas. Old division point for the Missouri Kansas and Texas Railroad, (MKT) or Katy Railroad. We named our home the "KATY HOUSE" after the railroad. We are one block from the tracks (UP now) and ore and coal trains go through here all the time. This town is still a crew change and we see many trains. My husband, Bruce is a train nut and the 1909 historic home is decorated with antiques and railroad memorbilia."
"The 4 rooms with private baths are named for passenger trains that the Katy ran. We do have train buffs here to see the RR collection and enjoy the small Central Texas Town."
"Thanks, Sallie Blalock, Po Box 803, Smithville, Texas 78957 512 237-4262 (brochure available)."
"As reported in Gulf Coast Railroading:"
"The Smithville Bed & Breakfast 'The Katy House' has been awarded by the State of Texas Historical Commission a "Texas Registered Historical Landmark', with a medalion attached to the buidling."
"The Bed & Breakfast is the former residence of former MKT 'Dr. Stevens Clinic', division surgeon of the MKT RR.. The house has been decorated with various railroad memorabilia, primarily MKT & is located near the former MKT tracks in Smithville, Texas..The buiding was built in 1909.."
"Smithville, Texas, is located on Texas Highway 71, about 3/4ths the distance from Houston to Austin, Texas..Further information may be obtained from the owners at: thekatyh@onr.com."
Source: Gulf Coast Railroading (Last revision date: 22 Aug 1996)

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