Trains rattle across the diamonds at Rochelle, Illinois, where the double tracks of the Union Pacific and the double tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks intersect. Cameras were set up before dawn at Rochelle on a busy day in 1999 to record every train from sunup to sundown, over eleven hours. An unending parade of intermodal, coal, and manifest trains flow past our cameras, headed by a vast array of motive power representing most modern locomotive types. Train symbols and destinations are shown for all movements across these former Chicago & North Western and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy diamonds.
This busy spot draws railfans from around the world like a magnet. To cope with the growing numbers of eager fans, the community of Rochelle constructed a unique railroad park complete with covered pavilion. It was an instant success, but not without obstacles, as you’ll hear from the crusader who fought great odds to make it a reality. Join us for a day at Rochelle where trains just keep on rolling past the pavilion. It’s a fascinating location and an amazing story that’s turned Rochelle into a railfan hot spot on the Midwestern prairie!