Wednesday, January 15, 2020

America's Abandoned Railways



According to Wikipedia there are 149,910 kilometers of rail track in the United States (although many other sources say it is much larger at 226,000 kilometers or 140,000 miles). At its peak the rail network in America was much larger than it is today and consisted of 409,000 kilometers of track. This means that there are a lot of abandoned railways in the USA.

Abandoned and Out of Service Railroad Lines is a website and blog dedicated to mapping all of those abandoned railroad lines in the USA. It also allows users to map abandoned railway lines in other countries around the world. Rail lines are colored on the map to show whether they are heritage railways, abandoned lines or lines which were never completed. If you click on a section of track on the map you can view information on its use, its ownership, when it was abandoned and its length.



You can also explore America's abandoned railways on Abandoned Rails. Abandoned Rails maintains separate interactive maps for every state in the USA. If you select a railway line on these state maps you can also view an individual map of the chosen line.

These individual maps include a history of the line, historical vintage photographs and user comments about the line. The user comments are often of particular interest as they can contain personal memories from people who once traveled on or even worked on the selected abandoned line.

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