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.

Jan 20, 2021

Nickel Plate Road #765: Whistle, Schedule, Excursions

Nickel Plate Road 765 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire. Today, it is owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Railway Historical Society.

Continue reading "Nickel Plate Road #765: Whistle, Schedule, Excursions"

Jan 20, 2021

Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261: Schedule, Whistle, Pictures

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: Schedule, Whistle, Pictures"

Jan 20, 2021

"Jawn Henry" Steam Turbine Locomotive: History, Pictures, HP

Norfolk & Western's Jawn Henry was an experimental steam turbine locomotive built in 1954. It proved problematic and troublesome and was scrapped by 1957.

Continue reading ""Jawn Henry" Steam Turbine Locomotive: History, Pictures, HP"

Jan 20, 2021

C&O 4-8-4 "Greenbrier" #614 Locomotive: Specs, Photos

Chesapeake & Ohio #614 is one of the railroad's classic 4-8-4 "Greenbriers." Read about the unit's history.

Continue reading "C&O 4-8-4 "Greenbrier" #614 Locomotive: Specs, Photos"

Jan 20, 2021

The Million Dollar "Rexall Train" (1936): Route, Photos

The Rexall Train was a publicity endeavor carried out by the United Drug Company and several railroads during 1936 touring every state except Nevada.

Continue reading "The Million Dollar "Rexall Train" (1936): Route, Photos"

Jan 20, 2021

L&N's "Flamingo" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable

The Flamingo ran between Cincinnati and Jacksonville, and was one of just a handful of named trains the L&N operated. It was discontinued in the 1960s.

Continue reading "L&N's "Flamingo" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable"

Jan 20, 2021

Reading's "Crusader" (Train): Locomotive, History, Consist

The Crusader was the Reading's flagship streamliner which provided regional service between Philadelphia and Jersey City.

Continue reading "Reading's "Crusader" (Train): Locomotive, History, Consist"

Jan 19, 2021

"Texas Eagle" (Train): Schedule, Route Map, Timetable

The Texas Eagle was the MoPac's primary service between St. Louis and the Southwest with an odd routing that saw it dispersed once in Texas. The name carries on under Amtrak.

Continue reading ""Texas Eagle" (Train): Schedule, Route Map, Timetable"

Jan 19, 2021

"Phoebe Snow" (Train): Schedule, Poster, Route, Consist

The Phoebe Snow was the Lackawanna's flagship passenger train, debuting in November 1949 between New York and Buffalo as a streamliner. It was finally discontinued when Amtrak began services.

Continue reading ""Phoebe Snow" (Train): Schedule, Poster, Route, Consist"

Jan 19, 2021

"Panama Limited" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Stops

The Panama Limited was the premier streamlined passenger train offered by the IC. It was inaugurated in 1911 and was canceled in 1971.

Continue reading ""Panama Limited" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Stops"

Jan 19, 2021

Illinois Central's "Green Diamond" (Streamliner): Schedule

The Green Diamond was an early streamliner often forgotten and resembled UP's M-10000. Also debuting in 1934 the Diamond trainset was sold by 1950.

Continue reading "Illinois Central's "Green Diamond" (Streamliner): Schedule"

Jan 19, 2021

"City of Miami" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable

The stunning City of Miami was perhaps the most visually exotic streamliner ever conceived.

Continue reading ""City of Miami" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable"

Jan 19, 2021

GM&O's "The Rebel" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable

The Rebel was a GM&O streamliner passenger train that dated to 1935 as an articulated trainset. The train ended service to the south in the late 1950s.

Continue reading "GM&O's "The Rebel" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable"

Jan 19, 2021

Chesapeake & Ohio "4-6-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos

Chesapeake & Ohio's 4-6-4s included a small batch of Hudsons it put into service during the 1940s. One streamlined example, #490, survives today.

Continue reading "Chesapeake & Ohio "4-6-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos"

Jan 19, 2021

Chesapeake & Ohio "2-8-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos

While most railroads chose to call their 2-8-4's "Berkshires," the Chesapeake & Ohio referred to theirs as Kanawhas. Today, several survive.

Continue reading "Chesapeake & Ohio "2-8-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos"

Jan 19, 2021

Chesapeake & Ohio "4-8-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos

Chesapeake & Ohio fleet of 4-8-4s, listed as Class J-3/a, included twelve examples of 4-8-4s the railroad termed "Greenbriers." Today, #614 survives.

Continue reading "Chesapeake & Ohio "4-8-4" Locomotives: Roster, Photos"

Jan 19, 2021

Chesapeake & Ohio "4-6-2" Locomotives: Roster, Photos

Chesapeake & Ohio's fleet of Class F 4-6-2s were its mainstay for passenger assignments, led by the powerful F-19's.

Continue reading "Chesapeake & Ohio "4-6-2" Locomotives: Roster, Photos"

Jan 19, 2021

"Denver Zephyr" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable

The Denver Zephyr was the Burlington's primary train between Denver and Chicago which hit the rails in 1936 as a stainless steel streamliner.

Continue reading ""Denver Zephyr" (Train): Schedule, Consist, Timetable"

Jan 19, 2021

Milwaukee Road's "Vendome Loop" (MT): Map, History, Photos

The CMStP&P's Vendome Loop allowed the railroad a reasonable grade west of Three Forks to enter the Pioneer Mountains at a reasonable 2% grade.

Continue reading "Milwaukee Road's "Vendome Loop" (MT): Map, History, Photos"

Jan 19, 2021

Tulip Viaduct Bridge (Indiana): Trains, Map, History

The Tulip Viaduct located in southwestern Indiana was opened in 1906 and connected the company to Indianapolis. Today, it is still used by the Indiana Rail Road.

Continue reading "Tulip Viaduct Bridge (Indiana): Trains, Map, History"

Jan 19, 2021

Richmond's Railroad Triple Crossing (Virginia)

The famous Triple Crossing in Richmond, Virginia is the only known of its kind in the United States where three rail lines intersect. Today, all three routes are still in use.

Continue reading "Richmond's Railroad Triple Crossing (Virginia)"

Jan 19, 2021

Tehachapi Loop Grade: Map, Passenger Trains, History

The Tehachapi Loop was an engineering wonder completed in 1876. Today, it is owned by UP with BNSF using the line under trackage rights.

Continue reading "Tehachapi Loop Grade: Map, Passenger Trains, History"

Jan 18, 2021

Starrucca Viaduct (PA): Facts, Construction, Photos, Map

Erie Railroad's Starrucca Viaduct was a massive 1,000-foot stone-arch bridge built in the late 1840s designed by James P. Kirkwood. It is still in use today.

Continue reading "Starrucca Viaduct (PA): Facts, Construction, Photos, Map"

Jan 18, 2021

St. Paul Pass (Railroad): Map, Tunnel, History

The Milwaukee Road's St. Paul Pass Tunnel crossed the Bitterroot Mountains near Idaho. It was opened in 1908 and was over 1.5 miles in length.

Continue reading "St. Paul Pass (Railroad): Map, Tunnel, History"

Jan 18, 2021

Stampede Pass (Railroad): Map, Location, History

Stampede Pass was the NP's crossing of the Cascade Mountains in western Washington carrying a maximum grade of over 2% and nearly 10,000 feet in length.

Continue reading "Stampede Pass (Railroad): Map, Location, History"

Jan 18, 2021

Snoqualmie Pass (Railroad): Tunnel, Map, History

The Milwaukee Road's Snoqualmie Pass was its crossing of the Cascade Mountains completed in 1914 and over two miles in length.

Continue reading "Snoqualmie Pass (Railroad): Tunnel, Map, History"

Jan 18, 2021

Sand Patch Grade (Pennsylvania): Map, Location, Tunnel

Baltimore & Ohio's Sand Patch crossed the Allegheny Mountains in southern Pennsylvania completed in the 1850s. Today, the double-track line still hosts CSX trains to Chicago.

Continue reading "Sand Patch Grade (Pennsylvania): Map, Location, Tunnel"

Jan 18, 2021

Rockville Railroad Bridge (Marysville, PA): Map, History

The PRR's Rockville Bridge was a four-track stone structure completed around 1902 spanning the Susquehanna River. Today, it still serves the Norfolk Southern.

Continue reading "Rockville Railroad Bridge (Marysville, PA): Map, History"

Jan 18, 2021

Raton Pass, NM (Railroad): Map, RR War, History

The Santa Fe's famous Raton Pass, located mostly in New Mexico, was part of the railroad's original main line between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Continue reading "Raton Pass, NM (Railroad): Map, RR War, History"

Jan 17, 2021

Southern's "Rathole Division": Map, History, Photos

The Southern Railway's famous Rathole Division was the 2nd district of its Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific main line, so named for its numerous tunnels and is still used by Norfolk Southern.

Continue reading "Southern's "Rathole Division": Map, History, Photos"




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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.