Scott City, MO

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Scott City is a small town near Cape Girardeau MO. There is a double-track main line that leads to the historic Thebes railroad bridge. Last count i heard was 40-60 trains per day. Not uncommon to see as many as 10 in an hour though.

Scott City is indirectly an intersection for Union Pacific's Chester Sub, Union Pacific's Hoxie Sub and BNSF's River Sub. The SEMO Port Authority accesses the line in some capacity as well.

The best viewing area that I've found is at the old SSW caboose located along the main drag by the tracks. The caboose has a roofed deck built onto it facing the tracks which makes for great railfanning. In addition to traffic there is two sidings for a couple of local businesses which at least once a week allows you to watch some switching of tank and centerbeam cars take place.

Thebes Bridge Info

Scott City on Google Maps


New Member
I wish I had more time to spend in this area. I'm in Poplar Bluff Mo for a family reunion. And had a little time on Saturday so I went to Dexter, MO arrive at 10:30 am and left at 2:00 in this time I saw 7 trains and 1 had solid UP power the rest of them had NS CSX and BNSF power. I would love to spend a weekend rail fanning this area.
Where did you go in Dexter? In town is hit or miss. The best is near the trailer park off highway 60 just east of town. That and down highway 25 towards Bernie. Tracks run parallel to 25 for about 10 miles.

Cool thing about Scott City is it is very busy. I normally have 30 minutes or less to watch when im in the area so it fits. I was there for 10 minutes last night and saw 2 during that time. Wednesday saw 3 in the same amount of time.


New Member
Yes I was by the trailer park. What line is that split's off and go's to the right is that the line that go's through Poplar Bluff.
That is correct, The line that splits off goes through Dexter and on to Poplar Bluff and then on to Hoxie AR. Thats the Hoxie sub. There is another one that goes east a bit South of there that use to be MOPAC and went to Sikeston and on to th the ferry at Charleston/Birds Point. It has been removdd all the way back to Essex as of the last year or two. Its reserved for "future use". Malden is another good location in that area.


New Member
Yea I went to Bernie nice place with a little shade I was there for five minutes and a truck driver would not leave me alone so I left and went back to Dexter almost went Malden.
Was he just paranoid of you or a railfan as well? I've stopped in Scott City 3 times in the last week and saw 11 trains in a grand total of about 45 minutes of watching. Not too shabby i don't think. I've never been to Malden, i've passed through Bernie twice and saw a train both times. Dexter i have bad luck because typically i have to stop in town and not out on highway 60. A few weeks ago i saw a full crew swap take place at night just down the road from the trailer park.

I was at the Cape Girardeau river-front yesterday and a BNSF mixed freight came down by the floodwall. That's a cool experience, i could have reached out and touched it i was so close. Very loud though with the echoing off the concrete wall.

I guess you could say i'm a more impatient railfan lol. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.