The Gregarious Railfan
Description: Matteson, IL, also known  as Park Forrest, is poised to become a pilgrimage spot for railfans. One of
America's two largest railroad intersections, a self-described "cloverleaf interchange for trains," was completed in
October 2011. Next to it is Rail Fan Park, featuring a platform on a 35-foot-high viewing mound where railfans can
watch an average 30 trains that pass through each day. Long trains loop over themselves as they navigate the Once at
Matteson, you can also walk up to the Metra boarding platform or walk along Main Street below the Metra platform
to the CN ex IC /CN ex EJ&E grade crossing. Both locations are worth exploring. CN built the railfan viewing platform
east of the boarding platform in 2011 that overlooks the entire wye interlocking.
Matteson is one of the most important interlockings in the CN system. In the northeast quadrant, a double track loop
has been constructed that goes north from the CN/EJE main and then curves west to connect with the CN/IC main.
At both ends of the double track are wyes and a crossover between the two tracks permits trains travelling in either
direction on CN/EJE to head north on CN/IC, and also for EB trains on CN/EJE to head south on CN/IC. The original
connection in the southeast quadrant remains and enables WB trains on CN/EJE to go south on CN/IC.
Matteson, IL 60443  (population, 21,975)             Page 2         Mini Guide

GPS: N 41.49796, W 87.69932   Google map   

Scanner: CN 161.190 [72] / Metra 161.025 [61]        

Railroads:  Canadian National (IC) Chicago Division, Chicago Sub; CN (WC) Chicago Terminal Division, Matteson Sub

FRA Info:   Crossing Inventory Report for Metra, Main St,  PDF; Crossing Inventory Report for CN, Main St, PDF
Approximate # trains per 24 hours: 110+  on weekdays: 40+ CN trains per day on the CN/EJE & CN/IC together;
6 Amtrak trains per day (Including the City of New Orleans, The Illini, and the Saluki on the CN/IC; and 70+ Metra
Trains on the CN/IC

Nearby RR stuff: Homewood and CN's busy Markham Yards are 5 miles north of Matteson on the CN/former IC line.

Gregariousness quotient: Low to medium

Local Fast Food:  McDonalds & others north at US-30. N 41.50613, W 87.67635

Personal observations: This could become a busy railfan location when the word gets spread.

Safety: If railfanning at Main St grade crossing, be sure to stay on the sidewalks. CN strictly enforces its trespassing

Clik for TRAINS Trackside article on Matteson IL     
“Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”
- Lord Byron
Denver Todd is The Gregarious Railfan
Todd Sestero publishes the RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
December 2014
TRAINS Nov 2016
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