This New Map Will Show You America’s Ghost Network Of Abandoned Railroads
Are you fascinated by the United States’ railroad history? There’s a Google map that shows the hidden network of abandoned railroads across the U.S. and it’s a glorious click hole for any history lover to fall into. You might even find a ghost network of rails nearby that you can explore on your own!
Created by transit enthusiast Andrew Grigg, the map pieces together all the fragmented railroad lines and old train routes that have been lost to history over the years. Many were deserted and left to weather the elements, while others have been transformed into lush footpaths for unwitting pedestrians, perfect for nature strolls and outdoor exploration. Let’s check it out:
For the past two years, Grigg has been dedicated to locating and charting every piece of abandoned railroad in America and plotting them on this fascinating map. Through his work, it’s possible to see how old railroads once crossed through places where modern-day highways, shopping malls, and housing developments now stand. Some even pass through old mining ghost towns that have been deserted or even flooded by dam creation. Find a place on the map that you’re familiar with, I bet you’ll be surprised with what you find!
The best part of this map is that you can zoom in and discover old railroads near where you live. Grigg has invited the public to contribute to this unique map, and more than 50 people have added previously uncharted railroad tracks to his atlas, so the catalog is constantly growing to include new finds.
Check out the dynamic map below or click here to view it in full Google Maps mode and truly explore the abandoned railroads across the U.S.
Have you ever been to any of these abandoned railroads? Do you live near one? Let us know in the comments below, or nominate it for a chance to be featured.
Also, many abandoned railroads across the U.S. have been turned into beautiful trails. Take a look at several across the country.
abandoned railroads across the U.S.
What places in the U.S. should I see before I die?
Anyone who has traveled the west coast of the United States knows how stunning the scenery is, and viewing the sights from a Coast Starlight train car is the best way to take it all in. This dreamy railway adventure meanders through California, Oregon, and Washington affording passengers incomparable city views of Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle and unmatched vistas of lush natural beauty between. The range of landscapes along this route is considered to be among the most gorgeous in North America, from pristine snowcapped peaks of the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta, verdant emerald forests, and miles of breathtaking shoreline along the Pacific Ocean.
What are the best little-known museums in the U.S.?
Train enthusiasts can venture from coast to coast exploring the many unique railroad museums and attractions across the United States. The Nevada Northern Railway in Ely is a fascinating destination to immerse yourself in railroad history. Here visitors can tour the preserved railroad, ride the rails on a stargazing journey, and spend the night enjoying their one-of-a-kind camping facilities. Located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the California State Railroad Museum is an exciting spot to learn all about how the “iron horse” connected the west to the rest of the U.S. in the 1800s. Golden, Colorado is home to the Colorado Railroad Museum spanning 15 acres and featuring over 100 historic steam engines, cars, and cabooses.
What are the most unique things to do in the U.S.?
Our nation’s railway heritage is steeped in a rich history that shaped our country’s expansion from the industrial age. From scenic day trips to world-class train museums and engaging interactive activities, you don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy the many excursions available across the U.S. In California, view the majestic Redwood Forest at the Roaring Camp Railroads. The Redwood Forest Steam Train line features a 19th-century geared locomotive that meanders the region’s lush wooded landscape. In the eastern U.S., Wilmington and Western in Delaware is a short but sweet journey running along the tracks of the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. They offer a full schedule of family-friendly themed events like a Wild West Robbery aboard historic steam and diesel engines.