Train viewing on the BNSF at the Crooked River Bridge is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

Loco Joe

New Member

I have lived in Central Oregon for many years.... But I have never been able to see a train cross the old bridge at the Crooked River.

Just once I would like to see one from the adjacent park there... Maybe take some cool pictures.

I have three young Grandsons now that also love trains, it would be cool to take them also and show them.

Is there any way to know the train schedule? I know some people monitor the railroad radio frequencies..... Could I do the same? Purchase a radio and figure out when trains are heading South from Madras or North from Terribonne / Redmond.

I would easpecially like to spot from this location when the SP 4449 or SP&S 700 comes through....

Please help if you can... Thanks Loco Joe.... Grandpa, Trainspotter, N scale collector, future 1 1/2" scale live steamer, Tool & Die maker.:)


New Member
Trains don't run on any schedule at all. We typically see 4 trains a day through here during the daytime. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But that is a good average.

Monitoring the scanner is your best option. BNSF uses 161.100 along the entire Oregon Trunk Subdivision.

Since they use Track Warrant Control here, the radio is quite active. You can hear the dispatcher give the trains track warrants (authorization) to move from Point A to Point B.

Trains often meet at Opal City (the siding about five miles north of the Crooked River Bridge). If there is a meet there, your will SOMETIMES hear them get new warrants from the dispatcher. BUT, sometimes they already have a warrant that is "Not valid until after the arrival of [train they are meeting] at [location]". In that case, you may not hear much happen and a train can sneak up on you.

If you can catch a northbound train leaving Bend or passing through Redmond, you should be able to beat it to the bridge. Sometimes the traffic lights in Redmond will delay you enough that the train beats you. Had that happen more than once...

Some of us local railfans started a Yahoo! Group for railfanning the OT Sub. We post what we see, especially interesting stuff, but it is hit-and-miss as far as what gets reported! Since I live in Bend, I see a lot of trains tied down waiting for a crew, so most of my postings are "[Locomotive Number] [Direction] tied down in Bend at [time]."

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