Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What areas are available for parking?
A: Free parking is available along the outer perimeters of the Park along 1st Avenue South. Please refrain from parking in the spaces allotted for the various local businesses that operate along 1st Avenue South unless you are attending those venues. Violators may be subject to tickets or towing. Metered parking is available within a 3 to 4 block radius of the Park. Please be informed that METERED PARKING IS FREE DURING EVENINGS AFTER 6PM AND ON WEEKENDS.
Q: What time does the Park open and close?
A: Railroad Park is open 7:00a.m. to 11:00p.m. daily. It is monitored 24/7 by a state-of-the-art security system and rangers on patrol.
Q: Is there an entrance fee for the Park?
A: There is not an entrance fee to come out and enjoy Birmingham's newest living room. It is absolutely free! Railroad Park appreciates and welcomes donations. Interested in supporting Railroad Park? Donate Now.
Q: What are the hours of operation for the Park's Dining Car?
A: Please visit the Café tab for more details.
Q: Can I bring my own food or alcohol to the park?
A: Unless otherwise designated for specific events, anyone is welcome to bring food into Railroad Park. No glass and no outside alcohol allowed at the Park at any time. Alcoholic beverages are allowed in designated areas only, when purchased from the designated park vendor. In the case of food allergies, outside food is always welcome at Railroad Park.
Q: How long is the trail around the Park?
A: The elevated trail is approximately ¾ of a mile. Two laps equal approximately 1.5 miles; four laps equal approximately 3 miles.
Q: Are there specific paths for bikers, skateboarders, roller skaters, runners and walkers?
A: The Park requests that bikers, skateboarders and roller skaters do not ride or skate on the 17th Street Plaza. Skateboarders are welcome to skate near the 15th Street plaza. Bikers and skaters are encouraged to ride along Powell Avenue. Walkers are encouraged to walk along our elevated trail and take the strolling gardens path to avoid the majority of the skaters on 15th Street.
Q: What are the Park's rules and regulations regarding pictures and videos?
A: Photography and video should not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the Park by other Park patrons. To reserve space for a photography or video shoot, interested parties should rent space by filling out an Events Request Form.
Q: May I have a birthday, family reunion or any other kind of event in the Park without reserving space?
A: Guests of Railroad Park are welcome to host birthday parties, family reunions or any other type of event in the Park. The best way to ensure that you will have the space you want and a wonderful experience is to reserve space at the Park. Click here for more information on how to reserve space. Those not reserving space are subject to certain limitations, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Park guests are not allowed to bring in any catered food without reserving space through Railroad Park.
- Park guests not reserving space are not allowed to move the Park's tables and chairs located in Section A of the 17th Street Plaza to accommodate their guests. The continuous movement of the tables and chairs damages the property. Help us preserve the long life of our chairs and tables so everyone can enjoy!
- If the Park is preparing for an event or is hosting a reservation or any other Park related activity, guests may be asked to move to another section of the Park.
- Guests are not allowed to utilize the Park's electrical outlets for personal use. This includes but is not limited to the charging of cell phones, laptops, radios, etc.
- Guests are not allowed to bring in tables, heavy chairs or any furniture that may harm the grass or other plant life.
Q: Can school tour groups visit the Park without reserving space?
A: The Park welcomes school tour groups. However, groups are strongly encouraged to contact the Park's Special Events Coordinator prior to the group's scheduled visit. Tour groups are asked to drop guests off at the 15th Street entrance of the Park and encouraged to enjoy lunch in The Meadow area. Built-in benches are provided in the northern section of the designated area. Restrooms are located on the 17th Street Plaza on the backside of the Railroad Park Foundation office. Click here for a map of the Park.
Park guests are welcome to bring in food to enjoy in the Park such as snack lunches, pizza, platters from a grocery store, etc., but catered food must be provided by an approved caterer of the Park. Click here for a list of approved caterers. No grilling/cooking is allowed in the Park.
If your school tour group is interested in a guided tour by one of the members of the Railroad Park staff, please contact the Park's Special Events Coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of a guided tour at Railroad Park is $150.00.
We appreciate your help in keeping the Park clean! Please bring garbage bags with you to dispose of any trash that may be accumulated during your visit. Please leave any waste-filled bag(s) beside the dumpster area located between 16th Street and 17th Street.
Q: May I set up a small portable tent/table in the Park?
A: In order to ensure good care of the Park's landscaping, tents and tables are prohibited in the Park unless they have been ordered through one of the Park's approved vendors. The first step in this process is to reserve space in the Park: Click here for more information.
Q: Are large inflatables allowed in the Park?
A: Large inflatables such as moon bounces are allowed in the Park when adequate space is reserved in the Park to accommodate the equipment. They are permitted when you reserve the entire 17th Street Plaza, 17th Street Plaza Section A, 17th Street Plaza Section B, The Hillside, The Meadow, West Green, West Gate and Lawn Terraces. Areas such as the Lakefronts at Railroad Park, The Overlooks of Railroad Park and the Rain Curtain are not conducive to moon bounces or any other inflatable carnival attraction.
Q: May I barbeque at the Park?
A: Due to safety and liability issues, grilling is not allowed in the Park.
Q: Are fireworks allowed in the Park?
A: Due to local ordinances, fireworks are not allowed in the Park.
Q: How do I become an approved caterer or vendor for the Park?
A: If you would like to become one of Railroad Park's approved caterers or vendors please contact the Park's Special Events Coordinator. Railroad Park's approved list is currently closed, but your information will be kept on file for later use. Each approved caterer or vendor must show verification of all licenses and permits needed to operate within the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County.
Q: May I sell items in the Park without being an approved vendor or caterer for the Park?
A: The Park does not allow outside vendors or caterers to sell items within the confines of the Park. If you are interested in becoming an approved vendor or caterer please reference the above question.
Q: May I solicit donations in the Park?
A: The Park does not allow individuals or groups to solicit donations in the Park. If you, your organization or company would like to hold a fundraiser in the Park, you or your group or company will be required to reserve space. If your fundraiser involves food preparation or the donation of food or beverages either for consumption or to sell to Park patrons, you, your organization or company may be subject to special rules and stipulations due to prior contract obligations with approved caterers.
Q: How do I become a Railroad Park Volunteer?
A: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Railroad Park, please fill out the volunteer application. Within 3 business days you will be contacted by one of the Park's volunteer coordinators. Each interested individual will be required to attend an orientation session to learn more about the Park, its rules and regulations and the expectations of a Railroad Park volunteer. A volunteer coordinator will interview each interested individual.
Railroad Park reserves the right to select all volunteers. The Park prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status or any other illegal basis. All data will be used to maintain official records of volunteers of Railroad Park, and furnishing this data is voluntary.
Q: How can I find out about various upcoming events in the Park?
A: To find out about upcoming events and activities happening in the Park, please visit the Park's Calendar of Events. Please visit our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts for additional information.
Q: Are the exercise classes at the Park free?
A: Yes, Get Healthy on the Railroad sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama offers free exercise classes. This health initiative runs through the spring, summer and fall. Exercise classes are held Monday through Friday at 6:00p.m. Please arrive 10 minutes early to sign-in. Every participant is required to sign-in each time he/she participates in a Get Healthy on the Railroad class. In case of inclement weather, classes will be cancelled. If you are unsure if the weather qualifies as "inclement," please view our Calendar of Events to stay informed. Also, you are encouraged to visit Railroad Park on Facebook or Twitter to view the latest information.
Q: Which reserved areas have a covered area that provides shade?
A: 17th Street Plaza Section A, 17th Street Plaza Section B, The Railway and the Caboose.
Q: How do I find different areas of the Park?
A: Click here for a map of the Park.
Q: Can I use sidewalk chalk at Railroad Park?
A: We discourage the use of sidewalk chalk at Railroad Park because it is added clean up for our hard-working janitorial crew. We encourage you to throw a Frisbee, fly a kite or play!
Q: May I bring my pet to Railroad Park?
A: Dogs are welcome in the Park, as long as they are on a leash and have an owner who cleans up after them! Snakes and other pets that are difficult to control are best left at home. We promise they will be happier, as will other Park patrons.
Q: Where is the Park located?
A: Railroad Park's address is 1600 First Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35233. The Park sits adjacent to the railroad tracks along First Avenue South, between 14th Street and 18th Street. It is located across from Regions Field, Home of the Barons. For directions please click here.