Railfan Sites in Nevada

A self-guiding railfan tour

Railfan, railfan--where do you see trains in Nevada?

Mapwork: If you're going to be looking for railfan locations, you'll need an industrial strength map resource. I definitely recommend you get a DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer, study it before your trip, and copy pertinent pages for your field work. You can find information here about Railfan Maps that are available.

Cities And Sites

(1) Thanks to Kevin Gulau for this information. You can find Kevin's Western Rails site by searching via Google. Search for his name as well as the subject.

Apex (December 13, 1999)

To reach Apex [MP 352.7] get on I-15 and head north to the Apex exit (Route 604), and turn left at the bottom of the exit. The tracks wind through the hills here so different angles can be had. There are places to pull off the road, but be careful near the underpass, as the road is narrow. Continuing on this road will bring you trackside again on the other side of the hill. There are places to pull off if you see something coming. The line generally runs NE to SW along here. Visibility is better for spotting westbound rather than eastbount trains.

As the name implies, Apex is at the top of a 1% grade, so some trains are down to as slow as 15-20 mph. Also, local power might be parked near the gypsum plant. If you're lucky, you might catch the Nevada Industrial Switch unit making a pickup/setout at the Union Pacific connection, which is located just south of the crossing, at the east end of Apex siding. The NIS operates the former UP Fibreboard spur, to service the Pabco Gypsum Board plant.

Kevin Gulau deserves 100% of the credit for this entry.

Arden (December 13, 1999)

To get to Arden, take I-15 south from Las Vegas to exit 33, Blue Diamond Road/NV- 160. Head west to the crossing, and the yard will be on your left. Union Pacific has a considerable amount of (mostly) chemical business in Henderson on the BMI branch, and power is kept at Arden for this traffic, as well as for other customers. Some merchandise trains will make pickups and setouts here.

Arden is a good photo spot. Eastbounds can be seen 5-10 minutes before they hit the crossing, and visibility is good for westbounds also. In addition, there is a talking detector about a mile east of the crossing.

This is a sparsely populated area, but there is a Texaco gas station/convenience store about a mile or so west of the tracks, if the need arises.

Kevin Gulau deserves 100% of the credit for this entry.

Caliente (December 15, 2006)

Caliente is along the Salt Lake City - Los Angeles Union Pacific main line. To reach the town take I-15 to Exit #64 from Las Vegas or Exit #90 from Cedar City, Utah. Take US-93 all the way to Caliente then turn right at any street from downtown. About 25 trains daily.

Thanks to Jerry Kavan for this Frograil railfan location.

Erie (December 13, 1999)

From Las Vegas, go south on I-15 to exit 33, Blue Diamond Road/NV-160. Go east, under the interstate, and you will tee at NV-604, Law Vegas Boulevard. This used to be the main drag between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Go south on NV-604 about 4 miles. Erie is at the top of a 1% grade for both east- and westbounds. There are plenty of places along here to pull off and get shots. Also, keep on the lookout for a historical marker alongside the road. The marker commemorates the completion of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad in 1905. Follow the dirt road to the tracks, and there is another marker which can be worked into a photo.

Kevin Gulau deserves 100% of the credit for this entry.

Wann (December 13, 1999)

On I-15 north of Las Vegas, take exit 48, Craig Road, and head west. Turn right before the crossing, and the road will be parallel to the tracks. Good telephoto shots of westbounds can be made with the mountains as backdrop. Union Pacific's Valley Yard, primarily an intermodal and auto mixing facility is located along here.

Kevin Gulau deserves 100% of the credit for this entry.