Infrastructure around old coal mine railways?

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#1
Hi folks, I just registered for these great forums, great to be here! I love the sheer amount of knowledge and passion in here.

I'm posting because I have a BURNING interest in researching old spaces and mapping them out in google earth, partly for the purpose of finding old glass and other relics that connect me to that other time (but in the same place!).

I recently got a hold of some old maps and have painstakingly transcribed at least 100km/60mi of old railway ROWs onto my digital map. A lot of these are in areas that have been fairly abandoned for 80-120 years, and thus might have some great relic hunting opportunities!

But I need help figuring out what to expect from these old lines. Would they have glass insulators, trash piles, pieces of signals or lights? I've tried to research this but haven't found the right question to ask a search engine.

Details:
These railways carried coal trains between the mines and the wharves, and most also connected to the larger regional rail line.
Many (all?) of them were narrow gauge tracks I think.
Some of them were used well into the mid-1900s for forestry (very little mining anymore by that point).
None of the tracks are there anymore, though the grades are still prominent and usually not very overgrown; rusted pieces of rail are fairly common, sitting on the slopes to either side.
For many of the miners, the trains were the only way to/from the job.

Thanks in advance for your time if you choose to respond.
 



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