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.

May 29, 2020

Hawaiian Railroads: Map, Photos, History & More

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.

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May 19, 2020

Ohio Railroad Stations (Historic): Past & Present (List)

The information presented here details Ohio's historic railroad stations which still survive along with pertinent research information.

Continue reading "Ohio Railroad Stations (Historic): Past & Present (List)"

May 18, 2020

Montana Rail Link: Map, Roster, Photos & More

Montana Rail Link (MRL) is a large regional that now comprises more than 1,000 miles and began in 1987 after BN shed large chunks of its system.

Continue reading "Montana Rail Link: Map, Roster, Photos & More"

May 07, 2020

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.

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May 02, 2020

Amtrak: Routes, Map, History, Photos & More

A history of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), its operations today, and how the national carrier has been under a constant threat of service cuts since its inception in 1971.

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Mar 08, 2020

Alco "RSD-15" Locomotives: Data, History, Photos & More

The RSD15 Alligator was a railfan favorite although railroads were less enthusiastic about them in service. A few remain preserved today.

Continue reading "Alco "RSD-15" Locomotives: Data, History, Photos & More"

Feb 16, 2020

New York, Ontario & Western RR: Map, Photos, History

The New York, Ontario & Western was a regional system linking Weehawken, New Jersey with Scranton, Pennsylvania and Oswego, New York. It shutdown in 1957.

Continue reading "New York, Ontario & Western RR: Map, Photos, History"

Feb 16, 2020

Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261: Photos/Specifications

Milwaukee Road #261 is a 4-8-4 locomotive part of its S-3 Class built by Alco in 1943. Today, it is in owned by the Friends Of The 261.

Continue reading "Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261: Photos/Specifications"

Feb 15, 2020

Lehigh & New England RR: Map, Photos, History & More

The Lehigh & New England was another Northeastern anthracite coal hauler. An early victim of the times it shutdown in 1961.

Continue reading "Lehigh & New England RR: Map, Photos, History & More"

Feb 15, 2020

Genset/Green Goat Locomotives: Photos, Specifications

RailPower's Green Goats and gensets were first introduced in 2001. Owned by RJ Corman since 2009 the operation was shutdown in 2020.

Continue reading "Genset/Green Goat Locomotives: Photos, Specifications"

Feb 14, 2020

East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company

The East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company is a historic narrow-gauge coal-hauler dating to 1856 located in Pennsylvania.

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Feb 11, 2020

Easter Train Rides

Provided here is a list of museums and tourist railroads that offer Easter train rides, including schedules and dates in 2020.

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Jan 03, 2020

BNSF Railway Company: Map, Photos, History & More

The BNSF Railway is the nation's second-largest system, behind only Union Pacific.

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Dec 19, 2019

Regional Services

Amtrak provides several regional services to complement its long-distance trains. Many are state-sponsored or subsidized.

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Dec 18, 2019

Fall Foliage Train Tours, By State: 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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Dec 08, 2019

Dinner Train Rides By State (2020): A Complete Guide

Dinner trains have become a popular attraction in recent years. Here, you can find dates and locations for these events in 2020.

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Dec 05, 2019

Day Out With Thomas, By State (2020): A Complete Guide

Here you can find a complete schedule regarding where Thomas The Train/Day Out With Thomas train rides will be operating for the 2020 season.

Continue reading "Day Out With Thomas, By State (2020): A Complete Guide"

Oct 29, 2019

Polar Express Train Rides (2020): Locations And Dates

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

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Sep 29, 2019

Lindale, Georgia Railfan Park

The city of Lindale, Georgia will soon be opening a new attraction, a railfan park which is expected to be finished by October or November, 2019. The town sits along Norfolk Southern's former Central of Georgia and Southern main lines.

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Aug 12, 2019

Jersey Central Railroad: Map, Photos, History & More

The Central Railroad of New Jersey was a classic fallen flag that served its home state and eastern Pennsylvania.

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Aug 12, 2019

Canadian Pacific Railway: History, Map, Photos & More

The Canadian Pacific Railway is one of North America's oldest Class Is still in operation and the oldest in its home country.

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Aug 12, 2019

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

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

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

Aug 09, 2019

Great Northern Railway: Map, Photos, History & More

The Great Northern Railway was the second company to reach Seattle doing so in 1893. It was part of the James Hill's vast empire.

Continue reading "Great Northern Railway: Map, Photos, History & More"

Aug 09, 2019

Burlington Railroad (CB&Q): Map, Photos, History & More

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) served much of the Midwest and Texas. It helped kickoff the streamliner era in 1934 and later formed Burlington Northern.

Continue reading "Burlington Railroad (CB&Q): Map, Photos, History & More"

Aug 09, 2019

Milwaukee Road (Railroad): History, Map, Photos & More

The Milwaukee Road, whose official name was the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific, dates to the mid-19th century and disappeared in 1985.

Continue reading "Milwaukee Road (Railroad): History, Map, Photos & More"

Aug 05, 2019

Railroad Tycoons List (USA): Men Of The Gilded Age (1800's)

Railroad tycoons, moguls, and barons were titans of 19th and early 20th century American commerce who laid the foundation of the modern industry we know today.

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Aug 05, 2019

"Fallen Flags": Photos Featuring 117 Classic Railroads

Featured here are detailed histories of more than 100 classic railroads, or "fallen flags," from the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad to the small Monon.

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Jul 23, 2019

"Streamliners" (Trains): History, Photos, And More

Read about many of the most well known streamliners here and why the period of the 1930s to 1960s is often considered the "Silver Age" of rail travel.

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Jul 11, 2019

Railroads In World War II: Facts, Statistics, Photos

Railroads in World War II were critical to winning the conflict and were prepared unlike with the World War I crisis. Unfortunately, the historic traffic numbers declined after the war.

Continue reading "Railroads In World War II: Facts, Statistics, Photos"

Jun 10, 2019

Railroad History (USA): Timeline, Statistics, Photos & More

Interested in learning much more about out nation's rail history as well who invented the iron horse and when? Find it all here.

Continue reading "Railroad History (USA): Timeline, Statistics, Photos & More"




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Header Photo: Drew Jacksich



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!



Studying Diesels

You will be hard pressed at finding a better online resource regarding diesel locomotives than Craig Rutherford's TheDieselShop.us.  The website contains everything from historic (fallen flags) to contemporary (Class I's, regionals, short lines, and even some museums/tourist lines) rosters, locomotive production information, technical data, all notable models cataloged by the five major builders (American Locomotive, Electro-Motive, General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin), and much more.  A highly recommended database!



Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division.  Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another fine resource).  If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first.  The information includes original numbers, serials, and order numbers.