Railfanning in the North Country: The City of Plattsburgh

Some people have been asking me about the best railfan spots in Plattsburgh, so here is my “HotSpots” guide. This is similar to Trains Magazine’s “Hotspots” column.

Plattsburgh, NY

Plattsburgh, NY, Population of about 20,000, is a city in Northern NY. The city’s historic D&H depot is a national historic place, and home to several businesses. The weather varies greatly from sub-zero temperatures in the winter to sweltering heat in the summer.


Train Watching

Plattsburgh is on Canadian Pacific’s Canadian Division, and its name has varied over the years. The Champlain Division, the Adirondack Division, and CP Rail Bridge Line Division are a few. There are 6 daily scheduled trains through Plattsburgh: CP trains 252 and 253 Manifest freights, NS/CN 930 and 931, and Amtrak 68 and 69 Adirondack. In addition to overhead traffic, there is train DS-11, which switches the Plattsburgh industries. Scanner Frequencies are 160.42500 for dispatch and 161.10000 for Road.

Railfanning Locations

There are several photogenic railfanning locations in Plattsburgh. The station hill on the north side of the station is a great spot for photos and with a wide angle lense you can get the station in the photo. You can see my photos from the station on Railpictures.net here

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I’m not the only one who thinks this spot is great.

Past the station, you can get some fantastic shot of trains crossing the Saranac River from the Macdonough Monument.

The Cumberland Ave overpass can be a good spot to grab some shots of trains on the bridge. Farther up, at the Miller St. and Delord St. intersection the track cross at and angle making for some interesting shots.

There is a parking lot just south of the station, but I don’t recommend it as you can’t see much of the train at a time.


Going south from the station, there are several spots along the Terry Gordon bike path to grab shots, including two overpasses. There is a very nice spot on the north end of the bike path.


On the pedestrian overpass.
Near the transportation museum

The city line ends here, and south of the bike path will be covered in the future.NCT


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