Wyoming Coal Train Hotspots

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New Member
Hi everyone,

So I'd like to take a trip to Wyoming and get a ton of photos of coal train action and I've been looking over Google maps and see a lot of good spots to take photos but I wanted to get opinions and advise from those that have been there. First, as an out of towner, what would be the best location for lodging that is decent drive to really good spots. Is Gillete my closest option? Are the locals (civilians and law enforcement) used to someone parked on the side of the road for hours taking photos and will they let you be once you tell them what your'e doing (if they even stop). I don't want to waste time driving there if it'll be too much of a hassle.

Any specific spots I should try? I figured I'd jump east a bit after being in Montana photographing MRL and get some coal train action. Any tips or advise would be much appreciated.


If you are coming from Montana make sure you stop in Sheridan,Wyoming. Take the 5th street exit from I-90 east towards Wyarno. On the way you will see the BNSF and the cutoff to the Decker Coal mines in Montana is at Dutch. You can't possibly miss it. You can also take Lower Prairie Dog rd. north from there back into Montana to follow the coal trains or you can continue east past Wyarno where the road turns to gravel for about 20 miles to Clearmont. From there the road rejoins US Highway 14 out of Sheridan heading for Gillette. A nice little back road tour if you have the time. I recommend it highly.
I should also add after living there you should be able to find lodging etc. in Sheridan, Gillette, and Douglas , Wyoming which is at the southern end of the joint line. I have not been to the area in about 10 years but I was never hassled and there are billions of good photo spots without having to worry about trespassing. Just be aware of the distance between towns and of course the weather. When I lived there the saying was if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes.


New Member
Thanks 728! This is really good info. WA is a bit like that weather wise although we don't get the severe weather like the midwest does so that is good to point out as well as the distance between towns. Even in E. WA the distance between towns isn't as big a deal as you would find in the midwest.
You are welcome! I am jealous . I haven't been through the area in about 10 years . My oldest brother still lives in Sheridan. I need to take the family on a trip there soon. Preferably summer.


New Member
I would like to really go when things are green and not dried out from long days of summer. What's the latest I could go with things still green? I'm not too familiar with Wyoming weather so maybe I'm just thinking of Nebraska (Crawford hill specifically).

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