American-Rails.com Blog

Here is your one-stop shop for learning about all of the newest additions or changes happening at American-Rails.com. Listed below is every page that is either new or which was updated within the last few days. Simply click on the link "Continue Reading..." under each heading to visit the page in question. With new articles added on a regular basis be sure and either check back here often or subscribe to the website's RSS feed to keep up with the latest.

Jun 17, 2021

Rhode Island Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

Rhode Island railroads have never played a vitally important role when considering the industry as a whole. Today, nearly 100 miles of the original 200 once found in the state are still in use.

Continue reading "Rhode Island Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 15, 2021

"20th Century Limited" (Train): Route, Interior, Consist, Timetable

The 20th Century Limited was the flagship passenger train of the NYC, operating until 1967 (just prior to the Penn Central merger).

Continue reading ""20th Century Limited" (Train): Route, Interior, Consist, Timetable"

Jun 15, 2021

Santa Fe's "Texas Chief" (Train): Consist, Schedule

The Texas Chief was a postwar entrant to Santa Fe's fleet of Chiefs, operating as the only Chicago-Texas streamliner. The train survived until Amtrak.

Continue reading "Santa Fe's "Texas Chief" (Train): Consist, Schedule"

Jun 13, 2021

Class 3 Railroads (USA): Statistics, List, Definition

A close-up look at several Class III railroads, or "short lines." These systems are in vastly greater numbers today as Class Is continue to shed trackage.

Continue reading "Class 3 Railroads (USA): Statistics, List, Definition"

Jun 13, 2021

Class I Railroads (USA): Definition, Revenue, Size

In railroad jargon, Class I railroads refer to the largest companies in the industry and all six in North America are highlighted here.

Continue reading "Class I Railroads (USA): Definition, Revenue, Size"

Jun 13, 2021

Passenger Train Cars (America): Types, History, Old Designs

Covered here are brief overviews of many types of passenger rail cars and what led to their development as train travel improved over time.

Continue reading "Passenger Train Cars (America): Types, History, Old Designs"

Jun 11, 2021

California Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

Here you can read about the fascinating history of California railroads, the lines which operated there, and current, present day operations. Also included is a rail mileage chart.

Continue reading "California Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 11, 2021

"Morning Hiawatha" (Train): Schedule, Timetable, Consist

The Morning Hiawatha was a new, ultra-fast streamliner the Milwaukee Road launched during early 1939 between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

Continue reading ""Morning Hiawatha" (Train): Schedule, Timetable, Consist"

Jun 11, 2021

New Hampshire Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

The history of New Hampshire railroads began with the Nashua & Lowell of 1835. Learn more about the lines that still serve the state as well as things to do such as museums and train rides.

Continue reading "New Hampshire Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 10, 2021

"Sunset Limited" (Train): Crash, Schedule, Route, Timetable

The Sunset Limited was SP's legendary train serving New Orleans and Los Angeles. It survives today as a prominent train under Amtrak.

Continue reading ""Sunset Limited" (Train): Crash, Schedule, Route, Timetable"

Jun 09, 2021

Polar Express Train Rides (2021): Locations, Dates, Schedules

Looking for official Polar Express train rides in 2020? You can find them all the dates and locations here.

Continue reading "Polar Express Train Rides (2021): Locations, Dates, Schedules"

Jun 09, 2021

Day Out With Thomas (2021): Schedule, Locations, Dates

Here you can find a complete schedule regarding where Thomas The Train/Day Out With Thomas train rides will be operating for the 2021 season.

Continue reading "Day Out With Thomas (2021): Schedule, Locations, Dates"

Jun 09, 2021

Montana Railroads: Map, History, And Abandoned Lines

Montana railroads have a fascinating history for a state with not a large population. There were once three transcontinental lines traversing its borders and today just one remains.

Continue reading "Montana Railroads: Map, History, And Abandoned Lines"

Jun 08, 2021

Streetcars (USA): History, Photos, Definition

Streetcars and trolleys have been an integral part of the urban environment since the 19th century. What began as horsepower operations transitioned into electrically operated networks. Learn more about their history here.

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Jun 08, 2021

Minnesota Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

The history of Minnesota railroads can be traced back to the Minnesota & Pacific Railroad in 1852. During peak years mileage topped out at over 9,000 while today half is still in service.

Continue reading "Minnesota Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 07, 2021

New England States (Train): Tours, Timetable, Consist

The New England States was New York Central's premier Boston-New York train, established in the late 1930s. It survived until 1967.

Continue reading "New England States (Train): Tours, Timetable, Consist"

Jun 06, 2021

GN's "Western Star" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable

The Western Star was a late arrival, debuting in the early 1950s serving the same route as the Builder as well as tourist to Glacier National Park.

Continue reading "GN's "Western Star" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable"

Jun 05, 2021

Kansas Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

Located in the heart of America's bread basket, Kansas railroads once operated almost 10,000 miles of trackage with all of the famous Midwestern roads operating there.

Continue reading "Kansas Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 05, 2021

Santa Fe's "Grand Canyon" (Train): Consist, Schedule, Route

The Grand Canyon was part of Santa Fe's transcontinental fleet between Chicago and Los Angeles, which honored the national park. It was discontinued in 1971

Continue reading "Santa Fe's "Grand Canyon" (Train): Consist, Schedule, Route"

Jun 05, 2021

Iowa Railroads: Map, History, And Abandoned Lines

Located in the heart of granger country, Iowa railroads once included nearly 10,000 miles of trackage and more than a half-dozen fallen flag lines. Learn more about the state's history here.

Continue reading "Iowa Railroads: Map, History, And Abandoned Lines"

Jun 04, 2021

Illinois Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

Perhaps more than any other state Illinois railroads include a history like any other. Read about all of the dozens of lines to operate there and what things look like today.

Continue reading "Illinois Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 04, 2021

Halloween Train Rides By State (2021): A Complete Guide

Visit this page for complete information covering 2018 Halloween-related train rides across the United States, broken down by state.

Continue reading "Halloween Train Rides By State (2021): A Complete Guide"

Jun 03, 2021

New Haven's "Yankee Clipper" (Train): Timetable, Schedule

The Yankee Clipper was an upscale New Haven passenger train that ran the Shore Line between New York and Boston. A section survived until Amtrak.

Continue reading "New Haven's "Yankee Clipper" (Train): Timetable, Schedule"

Jun 03, 2021

Fall Foliage Train Rides (2021): A Complete Guide

As the leaves begin to turn fall foliage train rides have become a popular way to see the vibrant colors. Find out where you can find these excursions here in 2020.

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Jun 03, 2021

Seaboard Air Line Railroad: Map, Roster, Timetable, History

Seaboard Air Line's slogan,"Through The Heart Of The South," fit the line well as it connected Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

Continue reading "Seaboard Air Line Railroad: Map, Roster, Timetable, History"

Jun 02, 2021

Short Line Railroad Listings (USA): A Complete Guide

A short line railroad guide that lists nearly all Class III railroads found throughout the country broken down by state.

Continue reading "Short Line Railroad Listings (USA): A Complete Guide"

Jun 02, 2021

"Chippewa-Hiawatha" (Train): Timetable, Schedule, Consist

The Chippewa-Hiawatha was part of the Milwaukee Road's once vast fleet of Hiawaths serving Chicago and Michigan. The train survived until 1960.

Continue reading ""Chippewa-Hiawatha" (Train): Timetable, Schedule, Consist"

Jun 02, 2021

Idaho Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

The history of Idaho railroads is more fascinating than you may think with several classic lines once located there. Today, it is home to a few shortlines and two Class Is.

Continue reading "Idaho Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Jun 01, 2021

Hawaiian Railroads: History, Map, Narrow-Gauge Lines

Hawaiian railroads feature a history unlike any other state with main lines, plantation branches, and narrow-gauge operations. Read more about the Aloha State's railroads here.

Continue reading "Hawaiian Railroads: History, Map, Narrow-Gauge Lines"

Jun 01, 2021

Scenic Train Rides (USA): A Complete Guide

Whether you are interested in scenic railroad or tourist train rides, all of that can be found here! The information here covers a wide range of subjects, from different scenic railroads to state-by-state guides.

Continue reading "Scenic Train Rides (USA): A Complete Guide"

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Header Photo: Drew Jacksich



SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource in the study of steam locomotives. 

The amount of information found there is quite staggering; historical backgrounds of wheel arrangements, types used by virtually every railroad, preserved and operational examples, and even those used in other countries (North America and beyond). 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website.  It is a must visit!



Researching Rights-Of-Way

A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way. 

Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country.  Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that. 

If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer

It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country.  Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page!