In General
Getting Here


In General

Location / Name:
Chicago IL, Cook County

What's Here:
The Chicago L
the CTA
Union Pacific
Iowa Interstate

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 312 (dntn)
ZIP: 60601 (dntn)

Access by train/transit:
the Chicago L
METRA Regional Commuter Rail

The Scoop:

Chicago, what better place is there for railfanning?

Chicago offers the transit railfan a diverse number of opportunities.  This page is an introduction to the subway system of Chicago, the Chicago L.  I am not even going to try to compete with the Chicago L website below, so I will defer you to their website for details of just about every aspect of the Chicago system.

If you love transit, you have to visit (especially) the downtown area and ride around the loop - even New York City doesn't have anything to equal that!

More to come.....

From Bing Maps: Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,693,976 in 2019, it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the U.S., while a small portion of the city's O'Hare Airport also extends into DuPage County. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, defined as either the U.S. Census Bureau's Metropolitan Statistical Area or the Combined Statistical Area, often called Chicagoland. It constitutes the third most populous urban area in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles.

Jim Mihalek
Denver Todd

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:  THE best resource for everything related to the Chicago L

Getting Here

All roads lead to Chicago.... well, not all of them, but there sure are enough ways to get to the best town in America for railfanning!



Fixing trolley-bus wire in the 60's, from a slide collection acquired by John Buxton, no photographer's name.

A CTA train emerges from the north portal of the State Street Subway on the Chicago 'L' Red Line
Photo by Jeremy Atherton via Wikipedia, 2007.

Cross junction in the northwest corner of the Loop in Chicago.
Is this cool or what?  These MOW guys really earn their money!
At the intersection of West Lake Street and North Wells Street.  Picture taken from a parking lot.
Photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia, 10Nov2007

Looking north from a Chicago 'L' station on the loop
Photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia, 29May2009

CTA blue line station at O'Hare international airport
Photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia, 29Mar2009


For a full description of the CTA L signals, check out this great reference:


Nada for now......


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My 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.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW 08/14/2012, JAN13/2014, DEC21/2018, MAR07/2021
Last Modified 07-Mar-2021