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.

Oct 24, 2020

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad: Map, Locomotive Roster, & Photos

The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was a very profitable southern line that connected Richmond with southern Florida. In 1967 it was merged into the Seaboard Coast Line.

Continue reading "Atlantic Coast Line Railroad: Map, Locomotive Roster, & Photos"

Oct 24, 2020

Western Maryland Railway: Map, Locomotives, Logo & History

The Western Maryland honored its slogan well as the Fast Freight Line. It connected Baltimore with Connellsville and Elkins.

Continue reading "Western Maryland Railway: Map, Locomotives, Logo & History"

Oct 22, 2020

West Virginia Northern Railroad: Map, Photos, History

The West Virginia Northern Railroad or WVN was a small coal hauler located around Kingwood which connected with the Baltimore & Ohio.

Continue reading "West Virginia Northern Railroad: Map, Photos, History"

Oct 21, 2020

Rutland Railroad: Photos, Map, Milk Trains & Locomotives

The Rutland Railroad served its home state of Vermont for nearly 120 years. It shut down in 1961 after a labor strike.

Continue reading "Rutland Railroad: Photos, Map, Milk Trains & Locomotives"

Oct 20, 2020

Reading Railroad: Map, Logo, Photos, History & Locomotives

The Reading Railroad known in later years by its slogan, "Bee Line Service," is historically remembered as a successful anthracite coal hauler.

Continue reading "Reading Railroad: Map, Logo, Photos, History & Locomotives"

Oct 20, 2020

Alaska Railroad: Map, Tours, History, And Photos

The Alaska Railroad. Learn about the history of the ARR, how it came to be formed, and what its future looks like.

Continue reading "Alaska Railroad: Map, Tours, History, And Photos"

Oct 19, 2020

Santa Fe Railroad: Map, History, Pictures, And Locomotives

A detailed history of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, better known as the "Santa Fe."

Continue reading "Santa Fe Railroad: Map, History, Pictures, And Locomotives"

Oct 19, 2020

Cornelius Vanderbilt: Facts, Children, Net Worth & Industry

Cornelius Vanderbilt who was famously known as the Commodore is also the best remembered railroad tycoon creating the NYC lines through shrewd business tactics.

Continue reading "Cornelius Vanderbilt: Facts, Children, Net Worth & Industry"

Oct 18, 2020

Milwaukee Road (Railroad): Map, Locomotives, Pictures & History

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): Map, Locomotives, Pictures & History"

Oct 18, 2020

Railway Express Agency (REA): Sign, Trucks, Photos & History

The Railway Express Agency was the UPS or FedEx of its day, the very best way to ship goods and parcels many years ago.

Continue reading "Railway Express Agency (REA): Sign, Trucks, Photos & History"

Oct 16, 2020

Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway: Locomotives, Map & More

The Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway connected Connellsville and Pittsburgh Junction, Ohio. It operated as part of the Alphabet Route.

Continue reading "Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway: Locomotives, Map & More"

Oct 15, 2020

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad: Map, Pictures, History

The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie was created by William McCreery in 1875 and connected Pittsburgh with Youngstown. It was a long-time division of New York Central.

Continue reading "Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad: Map, Pictures, History"

Oct 13, 2020

Penn Central Railroad: Map, Photos, Logo, Bankruptcy & History

The Penn Central Transportation Company was a railroad created through the mergers of the NYC, PRR, and New Haven. It failed almost immediately.

Continue reading "Penn Central Railroad: Map, Photos, Logo, Bankruptcy & History"

Oct 13, 2020

Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines: Map, Timetable, Roster

The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines was owned by the PRR and Reading railroads and served primarily as a commuter line for southern New Jersey, a role it still serves today.

Continue reading "Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines: Map, Timetable, Roster"

Oct 13, 2020

Electro-Motive Diesel (Division): Engines, Locomotives, History

Electro-Motive Diesel, formerly General Motors' Electro-Motive Division, was historically one of the most successful builders of diesel locomotives.

Continue reading "Electro-Motive Diesel (Division): Engines, Locomotives, History"

Oct 12, 2020

New York, Ontario & Western Railway: Map, Roster, Photos

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 Railway: Map, Roster, Photos"

Oct 12, 2020

New Haven Railroad: Map, Logo, Locomotives & History

The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (New Haven) served New England for nearly 150 years before disappearing into Penn Central and later Conrail in 1976.

Continue reading "New Haven Railroad: Map, Logo, Locomotives & History"

Oct 12, 2020

Union Pacific Railroad: Logo, Map, History & Pictures

The Union Pacific Railroad was created in 1862 through the Pacific Railroad Act to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Today, it survives and is the largest Class I in the country.

Continue reading "Union Pacific Railroad: Logo, Map, History & Pictures"

Oct 12, 2020

Missouri Pacific Railroad: Map, History, Logo & Locomotives

The Missouri Pacific was a large Midwestern that carried a long history of financial difficulty until later years.

Continue reading "Missouri Pacific Railroad: Map, History, Logo & Locomotives"

Oct 12, 2020

Seaboard Air Line Railroad: Map, History, Pictures & Logo

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, History, Pictures & Logo"

Oct 12, 2020

Canadian Pacific Railway: Map, History, Logo & Pictures

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

Continue reading "Canadian Pacific Railway: Map, History, Logo & Pictures"

Oct 12, 2020

Canadian National Railway: Map, History, Pictures & Logo

The Canadian National Railway has been in operation since the World War I era and today remains one of the seven North American Class I systems.

Continue reading "Canadian National Railway: Map, History, Pictures & Logo"

Oct 12, 2020

Boston & Maine Railroad: Map, Logo, History & Locomotives

The Boston & Maine, whose slogan long read "Route Of The Minute Man," was an important New England line for more than 180 years.

Continue reading "Boston & Maine Railroad: Map, Logo, History & Locomotives"

Oct 11, 2020

Bangor & Aroostook Railroad: Roster, Photos, History & Logo

The Bangor & Aroostook served its home state of Maine. Chartered in 1891 it fell into bankruptcy in 2003. Today, remnants of the system are still operated.

Continue reading "Bangor & Aroostook Railroad: Roster, Photos, History & Logo"

Oct 11, 2020

Great Northern Railway: Map, Logo, Pictures & History

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, Logo, Pictures & History"

Oct 11, 2020

Katy Railroad (MKT): Map, History, Logo, Pictures & History

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas, better known as the "Katy," was a southern Midwest line that connected St. Louis with much of east Texas.

Continue reading "Katy Railroad (MKT): Map, History, Logo, Pictures & History"

Oct 11, 2020

Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad: Map, Roster, Photos

The Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad was a classic shortline in the West Virginia hills that is fondly remembered by railfans.

Continue reading "Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad: Map, Roster, Photos"

Oct 11, 2020

Delaware & Hudson Railway: Map, Logo, Photos & History

The Delaware & Hudson Railway, which began as the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, was a classic carrier that even predated the Baltimore & Ohio.

Continue reading "Delaware & Hudson Railway: Map, Logo, Photos & History"

Oct 11, 2020

BNSF Railway: Map, Logo, Pictures & History

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

Continue reading "BNSF Railway: Map, Logo, Pictures & History"

Oct 11, 2020

Lackawanna Railroad: Map, Logo, History & Photos

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) operated from Buffalo to Hoboken, New Jersey and is remembered as another of the classic anthracite lines.

Continue reading "Lackawanna Railroad: Map, Logo, 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.