Terrific Train Sites and Sightings in the Quad Cities

Visit Quad Cities

For those who love (or even just like) trains, the Quad Cities is a wonderland of interesting facts, historical significance, fun adventures, and enjoyable viewing. You’ll find delightful toy trains, exciting train rides, and big imposing engines.

  • SkyBridge in Iowa, United States

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      Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

  • Ben Butterworth Parkway in Illinois, United States

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      Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

  • John Deere Pavilion in Illinois, United States

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      Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

  • Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Illinois, United States

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      Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

  • Abbey Station in Illinois, United States

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      Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

  • Quad City Botanical Center in Illinois, United States

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      Find the Train Garden at the Quad City Botanical Center All aboard! The Botanical Center, in partnership with the Heartland Model Railway Club, is home to a 1:24th scale garden train railway exhibit. Up to four independent trains can operate on the almost 800 feet of track. The train is operational on Sunday afternoons 12 - 4 p.m., May through October, and for special holidays and private events when requested in advance. Enter this garden from inside the Botanical Center just past the banquet rooms.

  • Niabi Zoo in Illinois, United States

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      Ride the Niabi Zoo Express Located in Coal Valley, IL, Niabi Zoo offers 40+ acres bustling with more than 600 animals representing 200 species from around the world and is a thriving part of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District. See animal habitats in a whole new way when you take a ride on the Niabi Zoo express train

  • Government Bridge in Iowa, United States

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      In 1854, the railroad reached Rock Island and in 1856, the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi was built here, connecting Rock Island, Illinois, with Davenport, Iowa. The bridge was made primarily of wood and had five fixed spans, each with a flat top and each 250 feet long. The draw, or swing, span was 286 feet long and located near the middle of the river. At the time, it was the longest swing span in the world. The new wooden railroad bridge was struck by a steamboat, the Effie Afton, soon after its completion, setting off a major conflict between steamboat and railroad interests that ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and the outcome was in favor of the railroad and involved a little-known lawyer, Abraham Licoln. **You can see a mural of the First Railroad bridge in downtown Rock Island at the corner of 17th Street and 3rd Avenue. You can even see the riverboat in the distance! The bridge’s replacement, completed in 1866, was probably the last Mississippi River bridge to have been constructed largely with wood. It only lasted six years before a new double-decker structure was completed. Then a steel structure was completed in 1896. The Government bridge was the first bridge designed by Ralph Modjeski, the man who went on to become “America’s Greatest Bridge Builder.” The double-decker bridge has double railroad tracks on top and vehicle traffic underneath. The swing span opens to accommodate boats/barges going up and down the river. It weighs 1,250 tons and it is the only one like it in the world. If the timing is right and there is a train also using the bridge, you can drive your car on the lower level while hearing the rumble of a train on the upper level. It is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

Terrific Train Sites and Sightings in the Quad Cities

By visitquadcities
Updated · 5 views
For those who love (or even just like) trains, the Quad Cities is a wonderland of interesting facts, historical significance, fun adventures, and enjoyable viewing. You’ll find delightful toy trains, exciting train rides, and big imposing engines.
Viewing 8 places
  • SkyBridge
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

         
  • Ben Butterworth Parkway
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

         
  • John Deere Pavilion
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

         
  • Schwiebert Riverfront Park
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

         
  • Abbey Station
    1
    • visitquadcities Watch the train cars passing through the Quad Cities Here is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these iron beasts

         
  • Quad City Botanical Center
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Find the Train Garden at the Quad City Botanical Center All aboard! The Botanical Center, in partnership with the Heartland Model Railway Club, is home to a 1:24th scale garden train railway exhibit. Up to four independent trains can operate on the almost 800 feet of track. The train is operational on Sunday afternoons 12 - 4 p.m., May through October, and for special holidays and private events when requested in advance. Enter this garden from inside the Botanical Center just past the banquet rooms.

         
  • Niabi Zoo
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities Ride the Niabi Zoo Express Located in Coal Valley, IL, Niabi Zoo offers 40+ acres bustling with more than 600 animals representing 200 species from around the world and is a thriving part of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District. See animal habitats in a whole new way when you take a ride on the Niabi Zoo express train

         
  • Government Bridge
    See & Do
    1
    • visitquadcities In 1854, the railroad reached Rock Island and in 1856, the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi was built here, connecting Rock Island, Illinois, with Davenport, Iowa. The bridge was made primarily of wood and had five fixed spans, each with a flat top and each 250 feet long. The draw, or swing, span was 286 feet long and located near the middle of the river. At the time, it was the longest swing span in the world. The new wooden railroad bridge was struck by a steamboat, the Effie Afton, soon after its completion, setting off a major conflict between steamboat and railroad interests that ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and the outcome was in favor of the railroad and involved a little-known lawyer, Abraham Licoln. **You can see a mural of the First Railroad bridge in downtown Rock Island at the corner of 17th Street and 3rd Avenue. You can even see the riverboat in the distance! The bridge’s replacement, completed in 1866, was probably the last Mississippi River bridge to have been constructed largely with wood. It only lasted six years before a new double-decker structure was completed. Then a steel structure was completed in 1896. The Government bridge was the first bridge designed by Ralph Modjeski, the man who went on to become “America’s Greatest Bridge Builder.” The double-decker bridge has double railroad tracks on top and vehicle traffic underneath. The swing span opens to accommodate boats/barges going up and down the river. It weighs 1,250 tons and it is the only one like it in the world. If the timing is right and there is a train also using the bridge, you can drive your car on the lower level while hearing the rumble of a train on the upper level. It is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.