You really have to see this to believe the reviews you are reading online. The Railhouse has been a labor of love for the Rileys, and the benefits of staying there go way beyond the nightly price. From the earplugs in a jar by the bed to the walking sticks and umbrellas by the door, they have thought of everything. But beyond just the incredible renovation story are the impeccable tastes that have decorated the place and created the breakfast (Mrs. Riley's skill with the design is impressive). A lifetime of buying train books, paintings and sculptures, plus the years spent in the rehab, have created something that can't be duplicated anywhere. We visited about 5 years too late for the heyday of my son's Thomas/trains infatuation, but he still loved the loft in the upper berth. As for me, I am not what the B&B's website would call a "railfan," but I have a healthy appreciation for trains, living within a mile of tracks and daily taking a commuter train in and out of Chicago. This was something entirely new - thrilling to the force and scale of the passing trains from the balcony of the upper berth, and marveling at the volume of commerce shipping goods across the country each day. There is real magic to the location, one of the freight rail hotspots of the country.
The Rileys were wonderful hosts, and Chesterton is a town that is clearly making smart moves with its downtown - I highly recommend the European Fair on summer Saturdays. The Dunes National Lakeshore is an undervalued gem, and Richard had just the right instructions to slip into a pristine beach without the parking fees of the State Park. We had a wonderful visit and will be back again for the escape.
Finally, I slept great and always travel with earplugs, but I'm aware others don't sleep that great, so don't pass on the free earplugs - the trains are loud and frequent!