In general, short lines tend to provide the most fascinating operations of any railroad. As local, centrally based companies they are much more down-home in nature, often friendlier (than large Class Is), and are just more fun to watch than the big roads. They also give you a look at what railroading used to be like decades ago, back during the nostalgic era. The information here features most Class III carriers operating throughout the United States and they have been conveniently broken down by state. The guide is compiled in alphabetical order by state and I hope you find it useful and helpful, particularly if you are planning a railfan outing and are interested in knowing where a short line operation or two can found in a particular area.
Alabama Short Line Railroad Guide
Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway
Birmingham Terminal Railway
East Alabama Railway
Huntsville-Madison County Railroad Authority
Jefferson Warrior Railroad: Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.
Southern Alabama Railroad
Terminal Railway-Alabama State Docks : Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama.
Arizona Short Line Railroad Guide
Arizona & California Railroad
Arizona Eastern Railway: 5903 Calle De Loma, Miami, AZ 85539. Phone 928-473-2447.
Bauxite & Northern Railway: Cyanamid Road, P. O. Box 138 Bauxite, AR 72011.
Black Mesa & Lake Powell Railroad
Copper Basin Railway
Arkansas Short Line Railroad Guide
Arkansas & Missouri Railroad
Arkansas Louisiana & Mississippi Railroad
Arkansas Midland Railroad
Dardanelle & Russellville Railroad: 4416 S. Arkansas Avenue, Russellville, Arkansas 72801.
DeQueen & Eastern Railroad: 412 East Lockesburg Street, DeQueen, Arkansas 71832.
Fordyce & Princeton Railroad: P. O. Box 757, Crossett, Arkansas 71635.
Fort Smith Railroad
Little Rock & Western Railway: 306 West Choctaw Avenue, P.O. Box 146 Perry, Arkansas 72125.
Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad: Headquartered in DeQueen, Arkansas.
California Short Line Railroad Guide
California Northern Railroad
Carrizo Gorge Railway
Central California Traction
Modesto & Empire Traction
Oakland Terminal RailwayHeadquartered in Oakland, California.
Pacific Harbor Line
Quincy Railroad: Headquartered in Quincy, California.
Richmond Pacific Railroad
San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad
San Joaquin Valley Railroad
Stockton Terminal & Eastern Railroad
Ventura County Railroad
Colorado Short Line Railroad Guide
Great Western Railway: Operates an industrial park between Windsor and Greeley, Colorado.
Colorado Wyoming Railway: Headquartered in Pueblo, Colorado.
Connecticut Short Line Railroad Guide
Connecticut Southern Railroad
Housatonic Railroad: Headquarted in Canaan, Connecticut.
Delaware Short Line Railroad Guide
Delaware Coast Line Railroad: 332 Weiner Avenue, Harrington, Delaware 19952-1141. Phone 302-398-0100.
Florida Short Line Railroad Guide
Apalachicola Northern Railroad: Headquartered in Port St. Joe, Florida.
Bay Line Railroad: Located in Panama City, Florida.
Port of Manatee Railroad: Headquartered in Port Manatee, Florida.
Florida Central Railroad
Florida Midland Railroad
Florida Northern Railroad
Georgia Short Line Railroad Guide
Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway
Chattahoochee Industrial Railroad
Georgia & Florida Railway: 1019 Coastline Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31705
Georgia Central Railway
Georgia Northeastern Railroad
Georgia Southwestern Railroad
Golden Isles Terminal Railroad
Great Walton Railroad
Sandersville Railroad: 1700 Waco Mill Road, Sandersville, Georgia 31082. Phone 478-553-0276.
Savannah Port Terminal Railroad
St. Marys Railroad
Idaho Short Line Railroad Guide
Eastern Idaho Railroad
Idaho, Northern & Pacific Railroad
St. Maries River Railroad
Illinois Short Line Railroad Guide
Alton & Southern Railway
Belt Railway of Chicago
Central Midland Railway
Chicago Rail Link
Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad: 514 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois 62959.
Illinois RailNet: 430 W. Madison Street, Ottawa Illinois 61350.
Illinois & Midland Railroad: P. O. Box 139, Springfield, Illinios 62705.
Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern Railroad: P. O. Box 119, Iroquois, Illinios 60912.
Manufacturers Junction Railway: Headquartered in Cicero, Illinois.
South Chicago & Indiana Harbor Railway: Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio but operates in and around the Greater Chicago area.
Tazewell & Peoria Railroad: Headquartered in Creve Coeur, Illinois.
Indiana Short Line Railroad Guide
Chicago Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad
Chicago SouthShore & South Bend Railroad
Elkhart & Western Railroad
Evansville Western Railway
Indiana Northeastern Railroad
Indiana Southern Railroad
Lake Michigan and Indiana Railroad: 250 W. U.S. Highway 12, Burns Harbor, Indiana 46304.
Louisville & Indiana Railroad
Louisville New Albany & Corydon Railroad: Phone 812-738-1147 or 812-267-2745.
Dubois County Railroad
Iowa Short Line Railroad Guide
Burlington Junction Railway
Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway
Iowa Northern Railway
Kansas Short Line Railroad Guide
Cimarron Valley Railroad
Dodge City, Ford & Bucklin Railway: Headquartered in Dodge City, Kansas.
Hutchinson & Northern Railway: 1662 Avenue N Hutchinson, Kansas 67554.
Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad
Kentucky Short Line Railroad Guide
Lexington & Ohio Railroad: 443C Lexington Road, Versailles, Kentucky 40383.
RJ Corman Group
Transkentucky Transportation Railroad
Louisiana Short Line Railroad Guide
Acadiana Railway Company: 1224 Cortez, P. O. Box 1729 Opelousas, LA 70571.
Delta Southern Railroad
Louisiana & Delta Railroad
Louisiana & North West Railroad: 210 West Main Homer, Louisiana.
New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
Maine Short Line Railroad Guide
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad
Maryland Short Line Railroad Guide
Georges Creek Railway: Headquartered in Westernport, Maryland.
Maryland & Delaware Railroad
Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad: Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
Massachusetts Short Line Railroad Guide
Bay Colony Railroad
Cape Cod Rails
East Brookfield & Spencer Railroad
Grafton & Upton Railroad
Massachusetts Central Railroad: 850 South Barre Road, Barre, Massachusetts 01005. Phone 978-355-0029.
Michigan Short Line Railroad Guide
Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road
Ann Arbor Railroad
Central Michigan Railroad
Delray Connecting Railroad
Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad
Great Lakes Central Railroad
Huron & Eastern Railway
Lake States Railway
Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad: Headquartered in Marquette, Michigan.
Michigan Shore Railroad
Michigan Southern Railroad
Mineral Range Railroad
West Michigan Railroad
Minnesota Short Line Railroad Guide
Cloquet Terminal Railroad: 315 St. Louis Avenue, Cloquet, MN 55720
Minnesota Commercial Railway
Minnesota, Dakota & Western Railway: P.O. Box 19, International Falls, Minnesota 56649.
Twin Cities & Western Railroad
Wisconsin Northern Railroad: Headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota.
Mississippi Short Line Railroad Guide
Meridian & Bigbee Railroad: Headquartered in Meridian, Mississippi.
Mississippi Export Railroad
Tishomingo Railroad: Headquartered in Iuka, Mississippi.
Missouri Short Line Railroad Guide
Alton & Southern Railway
Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
Montana Short Line Railroad Guide
Central Montana Railroad
Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western
Nebraska Short Line Railroad Guide
Nebkota Railway: 111 North Main, Chadron, Nebraska 69337.
Nebraska Central Railroad
Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railnet: Headquartered in Grant, Nebraska.
Nebraska Northeastern Railway: P.O. Box 26, Osmond, Nebraska 68765.
Sidney & Lowe Railroad: Headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska.
New Hampshire Short Line Railroad Guide
Claremont Concord Railroad
Milford-Bennington Railroad (PDF)
New England Central Railroad
New England Southern Railroad: Headquartered in Concord, New Hampshire.
New England Central Railroad: Headquartered in St. Albans, Vermont.
New Hampshire Northcoast Corp: Headquartered in Ossipee, New Hampshire.
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad
New Jersey Short Line Railroad Guide
Belvidere & Delaware River Railway
New York & Greenwood Lake Railway: P. O. Box 106 Glen Ridge, New Jersey 07028.
Raritan Central Railway
Southern Railroad Company Of New Jersey
Morristown & Erie Railway
New Mexico Short Line Railroad Guide
Navajo Mine Railroad
Santa Fe Southern
New York Short Line Railroad Guide
Albany Port Railroad: Located at the Port of Albany; Albany, New York.
Arcade & Attica Railroad: 278 Main Street Arcade, NY 14009.
Batten Kill Railroad
Buffalo Southern Railroad
Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad: 8364 Lewiston Road, Batavia, NY 14020.
Falls Road Railroad
Finger Lakes Railway
Kodak Park Railroad: Owned by the Eastman Kodak Company and services the Kodak Park in Rochester, New York.
Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad
Lowville & Beaver Railroad Railroad
Massena Terminal Railroad: P. O. Box 347, Massena, New York 13662.
Middletown and New Jersey Railway: 140 East Main Street, Middletown, New York 10940.
Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad
New York & Atlantic Railway
New York & Lake Erie Railroad
Owego & Harford Railway
Rochester & Southern Railroad
SMS Rail Lines
South Buffalo Railway
Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad
North Carolina Short Line Railroad Guide
Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad
Aberdeen, Carolina & Western Railway
Atlantic & Western railway: 317 Chatham Street Sanford, North Carolina 27331.
Carolina Coastal Railway
Carolina Southern Railroad
Laurinburg & Southern Railroad: Headquartered in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
Pee Dee River Railway: Headquartered in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Wilmington Terminal Railroad: Headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad
North Dakota Short Line Railroad Guide
Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western Railroad
Northern Plains Railroad
Red River Valley & Western
Ohio Short Line Railroad Guide
Akron Barberton Cluster Railway: A subsidiary of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.
Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson Railroad
Cleveland Works Railway: 3175 Independence Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44105.
Flats Industrial Railroad: 1757 Columbus Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.
Indiana & Ohio Railway
Lake Terminal Railroad
Lorain Northern Railroad: 2199 East 28th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44055.
Mahoning Valley Railway: P. O. Box 589, Campbell, Ohio 44405.
Northern Ohio & Western Railway
Ohio Central System
Ohio & Pennsylvania: Part of the Ohio Central System.
Toledo, Lake Erie & Western Railway
Oklahoma Short Line Railroad Guide
Arkansas & Oklahoma Railroad: P.O. Box 366, 103 South Central Wilburton, OK 74578.
Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad: 1910 W. Furguson Blackwell, OK 74631. Phone 580-789-4534.
Hollis & Eastern Railroad
Port of Muskogee: Serves the Porf of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Sand Springs Railway
Oregon Short Line Railroad Guide
Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad
Great Western Railway: Headquartered in Lakeview, Oregon.
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad
Portland & Western Railroad
Pennsylvania Short Line Railroad Guide
Allegheny Valley Railroad
Brandywine Valley Railroad: Located in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
Chestnut Ridge Railway Company: 401 Delaware Avenue Palmerton, Pennsylvania 18071.
Conemaugh & Black Lick Railroad: 825 Iron Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15906.
East Erie Commercial Railroad: 1030 Lawrence Parkway, Erie, Pennsylvania 16511.
Knox & Kane Railroad: Headquartered in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Luzerne & Susquehanna Railroad: Headquartered in Exeter, Pennslyvania.
Lycoming Valley Railroad: Headquartered in Northumberland, Pennslyvania.
Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad
New Castle Industrial Railroad: Headquartered in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
New Hope & Ivyland Railroad
Oil Creek & Titusville Lines
North Shore Railroad System
Philadelphia, Bethlehem & New England Railroad: Headquartered in Bethelem, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh, Allegheny & McKees Rocks Railroad: Headquartered in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.
Reading & Northern Railroad
Southwestern Pennsylvania Railroad
Steelton & Highspire Railroad: Headquartered in Steelton, Pennsylvania.
Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad: Headquartered in Export, Pennsylvania. Phone 724-327-0280.
Tyburn Railroad: Headquartered in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
Upper Merion & Plymouth Railroad: Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island Short Line Railroad Guide
South Carolina Short Line Railroad Guide
Carolina Piedmont Railroad
Lancaster & Chester Railway
South Carolina Central Railroad
South Dakota Short Line Railroad Guide
Dakota & Iowa Railroad: Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Dakota Southern Railway: Headquartered in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
Ellis & Eastern Railroad: 1201 W. Russell, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104.
Sisseton- Milbank Railroad: Headquartered in Sisseton, South Dakota.
SunFlour Railroad: Located between Rosholt and Veblen, South Dakota.
Tennessee Short Line Railroad Guide
Caney Fork & Western Railroad: 132 Bridge Street McMinnville, Tennessee 37110.
Conecuh Valley Railroad: Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.
East Tennessee Railway: PO Box 1479, Johnson City, Tennessee 37605.
Knoxville & Holston River Railroad: 401 Henley Street Suite 2, Knoxville Tennessee 37902.
KWT Railway: Headquartered in Paris, Tennessee.
Nashville & Eastern Railroad
Nashville & Western Railroad
Sequatchie Valley Railroad: Headquartered in Bridgeport, Alabama.
Tennken Railroad: Headquartered in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
Tennessee Southern Railroad: Headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee.
Walking Horse & Eastern Railroad: Headquartered in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
West Tennessee Railroad: Headquartered in Trenton, Tennessee.
Wiregrass Central Railroad: Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Texas Short Line Railroad Guide
Angelina & Neches River Railroad
Austin Western Railroad
Border Pacific Railroad: Headquartered in Rio Grande City, Texas.
Corpus Christi Terminal: Located at the Port of Corpus Christi.
Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad
Fort Worth & Western Railroad
Galveston Railroad: P. O. Box 1108, 37th and Old Industrial Blvd., Galveston, Texas.
GWI Switching Services: Headquartered in Dayton, Texas.
Panhandle Northern Railway
Point Comfort & Northern Railway: Headquartered in Lolita, Texas.
Rockdale, Sandow & Southern Railroad: Headquartered in Rockdale, Texas.
Texas Central Business Lines: Headquartered in Waxahachie, Texas.
Timber Rock Railroad
Wichita, Tillman & Jackson Railway
Utah Short Line Railroad Guide
Deseret Western Railway
Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway: Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Vermont Short Line Railroad Guide
Vermont Rail System
Virginia Short Line Railroad Guide
Bay Coast Railroad: Located in Cape Charles, Virginia.
Buckingham Branch Railroad
Commonwealth Railway: 1136 Progress Road, Suffolk, Virginia 23434
Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad
Virginia Southern Railroad
Winchester & Western Railroad
Washington Short Line Railroad Guide
Bountiful Grain & Craig Mountain Railroad
Tri-City & Olympia Railroad
West Virginia Short Line Railroad Guide
West Virgina Southern Railroad: Part of the RJ Corman System, operates a coal branch near Thurmond, West Virginia.
Little Kanawha River
South Branch Valley
West Virginia Central
Wisconsin Short Line Railroad Guide
Tomahawk Railway: Headquartered in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
For more reading on short lines like those listed above consider the book American Short Line Railway Guide from author Ed Lewis. The book has gone through several updated editions to keep up with the ever-changing world of the short line industry. Today, the publication highlights almost 600 short lines across the country with general background information about each (such as roster information, rail line history, radio frequencies, etc.). If you have any interest in short lines you will very likely enjoy this book. If you're interested in perhaps purchasing this book please visit the link below which will take you to ordering information through Amazon.com, the trusted online shopping network.
Check out the website's digital book (E-book), An Atlas To Classic Short Lines, which features system maps and a brief background of 46 different historic railroads.