Sunday, May 17, 2015

Five Minute Railfan Guide - Ottawa

A guest post by DaveM

When visiting a city, it can be a bit difficult to find the best places to view trains, especially if you have limited time.  Ottawa is not the hotbed of activity that many other Canadian cities are, but if you look close enough, you can find some railfan activities within this city.  The five places I've chosen are locations where visitors are sure to see some action throughout most of the day.

Locations are on the map below - click on the link below the map to see them in Google Maps.

Point 01 – Overpass Overlooking Ottawa Station
From this vantage point, you have a great overview of the entire station.  The trains departing to and arriving from Montreal go directly on the tracks below the bridge.  The best way to access this location is to park at the Timmies and walk to the bridge.

Point 02 – Bridge over Rideau River at Carleton
This relaxing location is at Carleton University.  To access it, park at any of the parking lots on the south side of the campus and walk to the Rideau River (don’t forget to pay for parking when the school session is on, or you will get a ticket).   This location has a picturesque bridge over rapids.  The sound of the white noise from the rapids is only interrupted by the amplified noise of the train as it passes overhead.

Point 03 – City Centre
The City Centre building is one of my favorite places to railfan in the city, which may be due to its proximity to the Art-Is-In Bakery.  Walk around to the back of the complex and you will find a nice elevated overhang where you can get close to the same elevation as the running train, with the benefit of being out of the elements.

Point 04 – The Tunnel
The best view of this active tunnel is from within the parking garage at the North end of Carleton University campus. From the comfort of this sheltered area, you have a great head-on view of the trains entering and exiting the tunnel.

Point 05 – Walkley Yard Overpass
Parking at the Greenboro transit station, walk to the top of the bridge on Bank Street.  At the top of the bridge you have a vantage point to see the Greenboro station on the west side and the Walkley Yard on the east side.

I hope that this article may lead others to create similar posts on their blogs for their stomping grounds.

Thanks, David!

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