Does your little one love to watch the trains go by in Champaign and Urbana? Have a Thomas fanatic in the house?
We asked our readers where the best spots to see trains, and they came up with a few suggestions!
The Monticello Railway Museum, Monticello: “There is a railway museum in Monticello. Lots of stuff to look at and they have some older trains that the kids can climb in and they have rides on the weekends. Great way to spend an afternoon!” “The museum may not have Thomas the Train, but they still have rides every weekend through the summer and special events throughout the year.””Monticello when they have the steam engine (405 I believe) is pretty cool. I also think for the regular trains you can ask to sit up with the driver.” ” Bring lunch to enjoy in the shady picnic grove, or visit one of the many restaurants walking distance form the downtown depot. Consider becoming a member if you go more than 2 or 3 times a year to save some dollars. ” See our 2019 Review of the Monticello Railway Museum here.
Arby’s on South Neil St, Champaign: “The Arby’s on S. Neil street, near Windsor, has booths next to windows along the tracks. I think its decor is all train themed as well.”
The Sidney Community Library, Sidney: “The library in Sidney is right by the tracks. You can play and read books until you hear a train. They have windows that face the train tracks.”
Culvers on South Neil St., Champaign: “Culvers! It’s fun to sit rail side and have a treat!!” “We sit on the side where the tracks are.”
Villa Grove: “Villa Grove seems to have trains going through it about every 10 minutes. Dangit!”
Amtrak Station at the Illinois Terminal, Champaign: “We pack a snack and go to the train station in Champaign when the Amtrak is scheduled to pass through. We almost always see a freight train as well. And if you’re willing to drive 3 hours, there are several amazing train places in St. Louis.”
Illinois Railway Museum, Union: We have gone to the Illinois Railway Museum near Rockford so many times to see Thomas the Tank Engine, they even have coach trains hooked up to it so the kids feel like Thomas is pulling them, the have a ton of trains that you can go in and look at, and you can purchase anything Thomas there! It is a fun filled day!! It’s not close but definitely worth it. And we used to also visit Monticello Railway Museum a lot!1!”
Normal Children’s Discovery Museum, Normal: “The Bloomington-Normal Children’s Museum sits right next to the transit station, and you can watch the trains out the back window of the Museum while you play!”
Wildlife Prairie Park, Hanna City: “The Wildlife Prairie Park near Peoria has a small museum.”
Tolono: “Tolono has space to watch trains at all intersections that have roads that go east….and we have frequent trains to watch!”
Did we miss your favorite place to watch trains in Champaign-Urbana and beyond? Add it in the comments below!