View Full Version : Real Railroad Route Maps

August 18th, 2009, 01:09 PM
I'm looking for any free sites that give proto US route map info over the last few decades. I've searched the web with not much success.

I've been working on a proto route including Kansas & Missouri where I live. The area includes routes that have changed railroads or completely abandoned. Ideally I would like to look back 10, 20, or 30 years and see what railroad used these routes with respect to the correct decade.

Thanks for any help.

August 18th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Sorry. I don't know about any free sites.
I have a bunch of maps I got from United States Department Of The Interior Geological Survey that show routes in great detail. Many of them are 20 or 30 years old. The department may have changed names since I got mine. They must have a web site. Take a look.

August 18th, 2009, 02:36 PM
You may not find them online, but the first place I'd check is the map repository in the KCMO Public Library Special collections department. I'm guessings they have several editions of the USGS topo maps in hardcopy. These may or may not give accurate identification of who operated which tracks. You might enquire, too, of the MO and KS departments of transportation to see if they have archival material, such as old state maps, available. The same special collection with the topo maps may also have aerial photographs of the areas you're interested in, and if they're published by the US government, they're in the public domain, and perhaps can be copied photographically if your camera is up to the task.

Call a couple of used bookstores in your area, and ask if there is anyone they know of in KC who specializes in maps; an antiquarian bookseller who deals with maps may well have old state issued transportation maps which do show fairly accurately the name of the railroad which owned the routes.

A further source is the railroad historical societies for the roads which operated in the area in which you're interested: some of these may well have route maps on line (I found one on the MKT.) while these may not be in themselves good enough for modeling purposes, they might be find for identifying what an abandoned right of way you've located is...


August 18th, 2009, 06:09 PM
:cool: You can use World Wind at a high elevation to view older Topo maps.

I see a rail line extending to Wilder, TN from Monterey, TN(The Crawford Branch of the TC), at an altitude of 24.1 miles or higher that doesn't present at any lower altitude.

I think Columbus used World Wind to find America:hehe:

August 19th, 2009, 09:15 AM
TerreServer has been good to me. They use old topographic maps for the map views, so you can sometimes see older lines that have been removed. Oceanside, CA, for example, uses topo maps from 1979, showing the old rail yards that have been removed.
http://www.terraserverusa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12&Z=11&X=581&Y=4589&W=1&qs=|oceanside|CA| (http://www.terraserverusa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12&Z=11&X=581&Y=4589&W=1&qs=%7Coceanside%7CCA%7C)
Did someone mention KC? The topo map on that dates to 1980. Here's the yard with the turntable. http://www.terraserverusa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12&Z=15&X=453&Y=5415&W=1&qs=|Kansas+City|MO| (http://www.terraserverusa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12&Z=15&X=453&Y=5415&W=1&qs=%7CKansas+City%7CMO%7C)


August 21st, 2009, 03:28 PM
Thanks guys! All great resources that I was not aware of.

August 21st, 2009, 05:24 PM
TerreServer is GREAT!!
Thanks for the heads up.:wave:

I am using it to do the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific from Stockton California to the East Bay. It seems the maps are ~1959 based with more current changes in pink. I am creating the route circa 1960 so I am quite thrilled with these maps.

August 21st, 2009, 10:06 PM
Sometimes I found this site of 1948 routes in general useful.