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Thread: Can anyone recommend a book with really good railroad maps?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Kansas City, Missouri

    Default Can anyone recommend a book with really good railroad maps?

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend a book or books that shows good, large and clear (in high quality print) maps of all the various different railroads in the U.S.? I have tried looking and haven't had much luck so far. I've looked on the internet and at my local library with hit or miss luck (mostly miss). What few I've seen so far are usually very small, low quality, lousy detailed, thumbnail or digitized maps in poor resolution or unprintable format from off the internet and in books... etc. etc... I find it hard to believe nobody has compiled such a book... I think that railroad maps are immensely valuable, helpful and important, both maps from the past and present....
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Edmonds (near Seattle), WA. USA


    If you want something to research at home and take along when you travel, I recommend DeLorme's Atals and Gazetteer series of map books. Unfortunately they are not available for every state in the union, including the four state area where you live.

    The map books are highly detailed with contours. While they are not railroad maps per se, they show all active railroad lines, and many abandoned lines. With a little detective work, you can also figure out which of the trails shown on the maps were made from abandoned railroad right of ways.

    Another resource is the satellite photos from websites such as Map Quest. There have been a few railfan oriented companies which have published railroad maps and mapbooks for specific cities, such as St. Louis and Chicago. Use your imagination to search the internet. For example, here is a company I found in the few minutes I have been typing this reply.
    Bill Anderson, Mile Post 18 regular

  3. #3


    I have actually had good luck typing in the state and "railroad map" in a favorite search engine. Different state sites have current and even some with all the abandoned lines too. Check used book stores and such also. Two really good books I've obtained over the years are the "Atlas of Traffic Maps" circa:1930. It was a book for shippers or traffic managers to find routings of goods. Also the "Open and Prepay Station List" circa: 1960. This one lists all railroads and station names by railroad and by state and town. And of course the "Official Guide" which shows a more general map of each railroad.
    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

  4. Default

    I had DeLorme's map software and it had great railroad data, even with who owned the tracks and who had rights on the line. I know it's not a book but still very helpful.

  5. Default

    I would recommend these:


    The maps helped me a lot while preparing trips to the USA.

    Last edited by Vliegende Hollander; 12-02-2014 at 11:51 PM.

  6. Default

    I dont think you can beat Dave Cooley's growing line-up of railroad maps via Sonrisa Publications. They are well made,accurate and affordable. Here's the link to his website: http://www.djcooley.com/index.htm

    He recently updated the California maps with some new features @$18 ea. He has special books for Stampeed Pass and Stevenson Pass and The Empire Builder.

  7. #7


    Have you tried White River Productions?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    North Platte, NE



    I've found this to be a good resource. I usually get lost tracing abandoned lines on it and before I know it an hour has gone by....
    Nathan "Jurgy" Jurgensen

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