The Gregarious Railfan
Dolton, IL   60419 (population, 25,000)                 Page 2           Mini Guide

GPS: N 41.6407, W 87.6105   Google map   

Scanner: CSX: 160.230 [8], 160.290 [12], & 160.320 [14]; UP: 160.410 [20], 160.470 [24], 161.145 [69]; IHB:
160.980 [58], 161.070 [64], 161.565 [97]; Amtrak uses UP frequencies.

Railroads: CSX Chicago Division, Barr Sub; IHB Chicago Division; UP Chicago Division, Chicago Sub;  

FRA Info:   Crossing Inventory Report for CSX, Park Ave,   PDF  

Description:  Dolton, Illinois is a working class suburb of Chicago on the south city limits of Chicago.  Dolton junction
(N 41.6405, W 87.6124) is at the East end of Blue Island classification yard and is the Southern entrance of Chicago
of the UP (former MP). The facilities are limited. Parking is in the municipal lot at Dolton City Hall, which is also the
police station.  Do not stray onto railroad property.  NW across the diamond (N 41.6430, W 87.6125) there is a
city park (softball fields) with a poorly marked entrance off Lincoln Ave.  The grass is generally high by the tracks,
but there is a better view of the trains in all quadrants of the diamond.  There are a lot of varied trains, including
Amtrak, IHB yard movements, and UP and CSX manifest freights.  IHB runs their famous “bottle train”, carrying
molten steel, through Dolton intermittently; (It discontinues on occasion when economic conditions warrant.).  The UP
running south is actually a joint line with the CSX for about 65 miles south to Woodland Junction, where the CSX
splits to go east and the UP continues west.

Approximate # trains per 24 hours: 100+      

Nearby RR stuff:   The Blue Island Bridges   

Photo opportunities: The “Bottle Train”

Gregariousness quotient: Medium to high On summer weekends otherwise low to medium

Food & Lodging: There are not many good offerings for food, fuel or lodging; but you would not have to travel too
far in south suburban Chicago to find these things.

Personal observations:  This is a great place to watch trains. In the warm weather, many railfans gather on weekends
in the municipal parking lot, and they generally see over 100 trains a day.

Clik for
TRAINS map of 'Bottle Train' route   
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
-Harlan Ellison
Denver Todd is The Gregarious Railfan
Todd Sestero is the RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
November 2014
TRAINS February 2008
Do you have info that you could share with me. I would welcome suggestions, additions, or corrections to this page (or
any page).  New info will be credited on the page. e-mail me at