Will be in Valparaiso area for a few days.  Any good hot spots?  I know Porter tower is off limits (cops will arrest and jail you ).  There is Valpo (our university), Chesterton, Otis, Griffith tower (but its CN I believe, and I can see Iowa CNs locally all day long).

Not interested in getting "perfect pictures or videos", just some frequent action for several hours at legal spot(s).  Will have my scanner so if you know the local frequencies or ARR channels that would be appreciated.

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If you have time to stop in Whiting, Indiana you'll see four main line tracks cross the two streets leading to and from the the beach.  Mostly NS power.   Have breakfast or lunch at Gabe's Restaurant in Glenwood, Illinois and you're 70 feet from what used to be the ICG main line.  A lot of Chessie and UP power units.  Homewood, Illinois CN yards always have a lot of power units.  Rochelle, Illinois has the crossings with a viewing area for train watchers.  John in Lansing, ILL

The NYC museum is in Elkhart In near South Bend.    Decent collection and museum and right next to the NS mainline (old NYC water level) into Chicago.   It is one of the busiest lines in area.    You can chase it east through some small towns and find plenty of legal grade crossings.     I have not traveled it west.

Also not too far east, maybe 40-50 miles and 30 south is Garret Indiana which is a division point on the CSX (Old B&O) main line to Chicago.    Again on either side of the yard you can probably find some small towns with nice depots and grade crossings.

Well, if you don't mind a drive of, oh, and hour or an hour and a half - Elkhart is great for train-watching. Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited stop there. Lots of NS action. New York Central Railroad museum is across the way from the station. Ex-NYC yard a bit west of the station.

Closer to where you will be, there's also the South Shore Line commuter line from South Bend to Chicago (used to commute from Miller to Chicago on it), NS, CSX.

EDIT: I see PRRJIM got there ahead of me. Good stuff.


Last edited by NKP Muncie


I am originally from NW Indiana. When back there visiting relatives I like to go to Riley's Railhouse in downtown Chesterton/Porter. The Railstream website has a free web camera there so you can watch online to see what you think. I believe you will see NS, CN, UP, and the Amtrak Capital. The owner of Riley's Railhouse, which is an old New York Central freight station converted into a bread and breakfast, is very much into trains and a very nice fellow. You can park in his lot to watch trains on the double track, and be sure to go inside and say hi. The inside has a running G scale train and is very nicely restored. He also has cabooses, which are painted to be South Shore (CSSB) orange and I believe a boxcar. The link to the Railsteam web page is https://railstream.net/live-cameras, pick Chesterton.  Railstream has a link to Riley's Railhouse which is http://rileysrailhouse.com/.  I believe next door is the old Chesterton passenger station. 

The last interurban in the US also goes through Chesterton, the South Shore. I rode from the Dunes Station, by the Dunes State Park, off of US 12 in Chesterton to the South Bend Airport when home last. Being 65, I got the senior discount which was 5.00 each way. The South Shore ride takes about an hour each way and runs through the street in Michigan City Indiana which is pretty cool. You can checkout the South Shore schedules online at https://www.mysouthshoreline.com/. I think I rode it on a weekday and left Dunes Station at around 10am CST (Chesterton time) and got to South Bend about 12 something EST (South Bend time). Had a cup of coffee in SB and then back on train 30 or 40 minutes later for return trip. Schedule might change so check the latest if you are interested. 

In Monon Indiana, which is about an hour or so south east of Valpo, is the Monon Connection Museum. Very nice private collection, open to the public. I think charge is 8 dollars to go into Museum. Has a nice place to eat next door called the Whistle Stop. Museum curator Harold, I think his name is, is an expert on the MONON railroad. He might just work weekends though. You can checkout the Monon Connection at http://mononconnection.com/

Hope this helps, sorry to be long winded. Have a nice trip, and if any additional questions I can help with let me know.




Born in the land of the Monon

Live in the land of the 611 and 1218

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