Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Places To Eat, Grab A Coffee And Watch Trains

I was at a conference in Goshen, IN in July. Before and after the meetings, I'd stop at the Starbucks on US 33 between Goshen and Elkhart to grab a coffee, check e-mail and watch trains on the busy NS Chicago mainline across the street. (There was a train about every 10-15 minutes.)

I also stopped for lunch one day at nearby Panera Bread--another great view of the action.

It got me to wondering: Where are other great places to grab a coffee, or other liquid refreshment, or a meal, and watch trains?

I posted that query on the Atlas HO forum. Here are some of the responses:

"The Steaming Tender in Palmer, MA is great and has good food to boot. I also like the Voorheesville Diner in Voorheesville, NY - right on the main CSX line into Selkirk Yard."

"C.O.D. Seafood on 37th Avenue,NW in Miami. 'High Horsepower' cuban coffee in a small cup. Right next to the East Rail industrial park."

"Silver Beach Pizza in St Joseph MI. It is right there by the tracks. The tracks are used by CSX and Amtrak."

"Crown Railroad Cafe in Flagstaff, AZ is a diner that's right across the street from the BNSF (ex-ATSF) mainline."

"In Fort Collins, CO, try either Avogadro's Number (on Mason Street) or Washingtons to see the BNSF (ex-C&S) street running mainline traffic roll through town while savoring great deli sandwiches, beer, etc. Washingtons's is more like a pub and on my last visit had a deck where you could view the action as well as that on the UP branch that comes up from (I think) Greeley."

"The Shovel" in Marion Ohio. Seating outside right next to the NW north/south line, and within site of the CSXT/CR/EL east west line. Just 50 yards away. Look around the building, and the CSXT/C&O north south main is just 25-30 yards away. Shares a parking lot with the depot museum!"

"Wiscasset, Maine offers Sarah's, Red's Eats and two other establishments I can't think of the names where you can enjoy fresh hearty Maine seafood either picnic style or indoors with excellent views of the Maine Eastern (ex MEC) Rockland line skimming along the edge of the very photogenic harbor."

"My favorite spot is Einstein's Bagels in Glen Ellyn, IL. They have outdoor seating in the warm weather months and the UP West line is literally about 100ft. to the north. Freights go by at least every 10-15 minutes and the bagels and coffee are great!"

"On the CN line in Mundelein, IL The Caboose, is a nice little sandwich shop with a bar facing the grade crossing at Hawley. In Northbrook, IL on the CP line, My Pie is wonderful little pizza place that looks at the Shermer Road grad crossing in downtown. Seriously a must stop for really good pizza!"

"In Deerfield, there's Trax, which has an open air eating area on the roof looking down on the Deerfield train station. Pretty good food, and a decent beer selection."

"MacGregor's, Rochester, NY. Sits right on the busy, former NYC Waterlevel route now used by CSX. It's an old station to boot."

"Tinucci's restaurant parking lot has long (at least since the early sixties) a popular spot for watching trains. It's just off of Hwy 10/61 southeast of St.Paul. The BNSF and CP mainlines to Chicago (formerly CB&Q and Milwaukee) run parallel to each other the other side of the service road from the parking lot."

Anyone have anything to add to that list?


  1. So far, nobody has suggested any. There is a outdoor dining area at the Beachcomber at The Forks here in Winnipeg, just a few hundred feet from the CN/VIA mainline. Problem is there are lots of trees in the way--hard to see the main attraction.