Best Spot to Watch Trains

Bridge at 9th Street NE

For train geeks, D.C. isn’t exactly nirvana. Sure, Union Station’s one of the country’s premier spots to watch big-time passenger operations, but not a whole lot of freight traffic rolls through these parts—at least not compared to the average Eastern metropolis. But for railfans in need of a fix (“foamers,” in the parlance of snickering railroad employees, as in in “foaming at the mouth”), the place to be is the 9th Street NE bridge, just north of New York Avenue. You can see everything that makes Washington a decent, if not stellar, railroad town. Look east and see Amtrak and MARC trains hauling ass along the Northeast Corridor, not to mention Amtrak’s sprawling locomotive and rolling-stock shops. To the west, you’ve got a sweet vantage onto CSX freight traffic coming up and down the old B&O Metropolitan Branch, not to mention a decent view of Metro’s Red Line yard in the distance.

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