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Visit Ferryville


If you are a railroad buff – you know what this means!

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Fans of the Railroad

Do you enjoy mainline activity of 40-50 trains in a 24-hour period? Are you interested in transcontinental shipments, unit container, grain, ore, and oil trains combined with mix consist and even a local? Then Ferryville is the place for you to come and enjoy your pastime of railfanning.


With the picturesque spots along the Mississippi River bluffs, the background of tow boats and the ever changing light, the weather patterns, and broad sweeping curves, it is the ideal place to capture that calendar quality photo of a new BNSF on the point or even one of Norfolk and Southern Heritage units (14 different ones have been through Ferryville in the last year participating in the North Dakota oil boom).

Visit Ferryville
Visit Ferryville

There are many photo locations that are very accessible from public land that provide the photographer stunning photos of one of the nation’s premier railroads traversing the historical CB&Q right-of-way.


With daytime train counts from 15-30 trains on double track main there are frequently trains running in “fleets” one detection block apart. Frequent grade crossings and track detectors provide a “head’s up” when they are coming but don’t get too rested along the tracks in some spots as they can surprise you.


BNSF detectors are on the BNSF main channel of 161.100. In some locations, including the trackside observation deck in downtown Ferryville, binoculars will enable you to see trains coming at you from 5-8 miles away.  


Train variety can be had by taking the 10-mile ride, across the famous and historically interesting Black Hawk Bridge to Lansing Iowa where the CP provides street running options of grain, oil, and other commodities.


Occasionally, AMTRAK diverts along this route providing rare shots of passenger service along the Mississippi.

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