RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to the
HARRIS TOWER MUSEUM
GPS Coordinates: 40.265102,-76.878955
Access by train/transit:
The Harrisburg Amtrak station is about 4 blocks away, easy walk.
When you are downtown, don't forget to visit the restored Harris Tower, which opened to the public in 2008. It is usually open on Saturdays, May thru October. I believe the hours are 10 to 3, but make sure you get there well before the closing time, as it is run by volunteers.
The parking lot adjacent to the tower is also a good spot for railfanning on the weekends, with freights coming by with a fair bit of regularity and the areas only searchlight signals. During the week, the lot is used as parking for PA government staff.
On the map below, the tower is sight number 3.
Thanks to Denver Todd for his help with my railfan guides and suggesting welcome changes to help all ya'll.
Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
For more stuff to see around the tower, Click Here
My RSUS philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Harrisburg is conveniently located off of I-81, I-83, and I-76 - the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
I-81 through Harrisburg runs NE to SW, sort of on a diagonal. Heading south on I-81, Roanoke VA, home to the ole Norfolk and Western and an excellent railfanning city, is about 4hrs away (exit 125 in VA) and Hagerstown MD is less then an hour away (exit 6 in MD).
Going "north" on I81, it runs almost due east from Harrisburg till I-78 splits off (at exit 89), then heads north to Wilkes-Barre (exit 170) and Scranton, which is about two hours away to exit 185 - this exit will take you to downtown and Steamtown!
I-78 is only 20 miles to the east off I-81 (off the map), and will take you to Allentown (a little over an hour away at exit 57), Bethlehem PA (exit 67), and then on to NYC. On the way to I-78, you will pass the home of Hershey's Chocolate (exit 77) and the Hershey Amusement Park! About halfway to Allentown you will go by the northern end of the Blue Mountain and Reading in Hamburg (exit 29).
I-76 runs east-west, and runs from Philadelphia to the Ohio border. Pittsburgh is about 3 - 3 1/2 hours to the west, and Philadelphia is about 2 1/2 hours to the east. It is a toll road.
NKP 765 coming through downtown on Sunday August 19, 2012, followed by the NS NKP Heritage Engine
Last Modified 04-Apr-2014