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check this site out. i think we should use the old railroads like this. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/travel-by-rail-in-style-on-a-railrider.html
carl m smith
beech grove, IN
Hi I am in the UK and love your site.
Here are some interesting, if minor, details. In Osceola county FL there is a railway that links Kissimmee and Orlando, part of a planned commuter rail project called sun rail. At the junction of poinciana Bvd and the route 441 the line passes. It has a branch into a factory there no longer used.
More interesting a few miles down poinciana Bvd there is a wildlife sanctuary that owns some acres of swamp. In that plot there is the remnant of an old logging railroad. It is well described in the exhibit. It must have originally connected to what is now the commuter line. Logging stopped circa 1920.
I am a 56 year old Eagle Scout. I earned my railRoading merrit Badge by riding a Passenger Train from forsyth ga.to Atlanta in 1972. The name of the Train was the Nancy Hanks. I got a Abandoned rail Track for you. A pice of track from Mcaysville ga. to Menerial Bluff Ga.I do not know who owned it or who built it. But It is out of business. Alittle FYI for you. I enjoy history. I enjoy railroad history the most. Thanks for the site.
Dan a hayes
Tallulah Falls , GA
This is wonderful site with lots of good information and well organized. Does anyone know about the St. Louis, Lawrence, Denver and Western Railroad known as the "Calamity Line" which ran through Stanley and Olathe Kansas? I can't seem to find much information about it.
Happy New Year Greg. Thanks for all your hard work. Your website rocks!
Los Angeles, CA
[Thanks for your continued contributions, Drew! Happy New Year to you as well! —Greg Harrison]
Getting ready to retire, and hoping to update the Virginia Beach abandoned rail lines with photos and history. I am also planning to add photos and history for old rail lines in Isle of Wight and Suffolk, Virginia
Thanks for this great site! I like seeing the abandoned crossing signals that are on here. :)
Thank you for the great site! Special thanks to Elias c. Jones for the pictures of the abandoned ERIE line between Leavittsburg and Mantua, Ohio. My great grandfather, John King, was a track foreman and led the gang that laid the track from Leavittsburg to Cleveland, completed in 1863. He was then appointed Section Foreman in late 1863 for the section between Mantua and Hiram, a job he kept until he retired in 1928 at age 90! In 1859 or 1860 he joined the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad which leased track to the ERIE Railroad and was subsequently formally merged into the ERIE. I believe the picture that Elias C. Jones identified as "some sort of railroad structure (signal house?)" was actually a small shelter built for my great grandfather by the railroad to shelter him from the elements as he waited for the trains to take him to the yards in Cleveland. My uncle told me about the shelter/depot which was very near my great grandfather's farm east of Mantua at a crossing known as "King's Crossing." I once tried unsuccessfully to find "King's Crossing" but was told by local residents that it was torn down, although the area was still known as "King's Crossing". My great uncles James King and John King were Station Agents and Telegraph Operators in Mantua for years (45 and 39 years, respectively), until they both retired in September, 1937. If that is a picture of my great grandfather's "King's Crossing" shelter, your site solves a long standing family research mystery for me! Thank you!
I really like this site. I know of some abandoned railroad which I would like to summit but can't get to your email address. Clicking on your links to your email doesn't work for me.
Keep up the good work.
Love this site. Check out http://abandonedrailways.tumblr.com/ for great pictures of abandoned railways.
Berkeley Heights, NJ
This is a great site! One of the things I like is it encourages the amateur railfan/historian/industrial archeologist to get out there and do some detective work on his/or her own. There are many abandoned lines throughout the country not listed. I hope others are inspired by this site.
As for my own history, born in Akron in '50. Worked as a clerk for the EL at the McCoy St. Yard in Akron '68-'69. After military service I hired out with BN in Seattle and retired several years ago. Currently I am a docent with the Northwest Railway Museum.
Visits back to Ohio are usually bittersweet as the lines I knew are either gone (EL) or busier than ever (PRR Alliance to Cleveland. Thanks for allowing the rantings of an old goat, and keep up the excellent work. I plan on submitting info on some of the abandoned GN, MILW and NP lines in the Puget Sound area.
Keep up the fantastic work. I will recommend this site to others!
north bend, WA
How do I submit Abandoned Rails to you? Thanks.
[Just send me an email to the address at the bottom of the page with anything you want posted. Thanks! —Greg Harrison]
am i the only one who thinks it would be a great idea to purchase all these abandoned lines and start a new rail company ARC, Abandoned Rail Co.
Nice work you've done here, Greg. You're a genius!!
Greg, Hope all is well with you and yours. Happy New Year! 2013 should be another good year for finding abandoned rails.
South Holland, IL
[Thanks Randy! Happy New Year to you too! —Greg Harrison]
The site is very useful love all the old facts about the rails and history.
I myself am from the north east region of Pa. with a ton of great rail history and hope to share some here on the site.
Paul F. Leatso
Just found this site. It is great! I just wish there was some way to put all these old rails back into service.
Lambertville , NJ
I am writing a brief history of the Great Revere Train Wreck of 1871 and would like to know where I can get a map of the Eastern Massachusetts RR from that period. This would include their Boston, Everett, Saugus, Revere, Lynn, Beverly stations. Any help would be most appreciated.
[Don, you can find historical topographical maps of Massachusetts here: http://historical.mytopo.com/townlist.cfm?stateabr=MA —Greg Harrison]
I am searching for rail trails that start near Gardner, MA and go up through to Canada. Don't know the northeast well at all yet, but am trying. can someone out here help?
I LOVE this site I come on it EVERY DAY! LOVE LOOKING AT THE PE!
Buena Park , CA
LOVE this site. Makes me really sad at some points but thank you so much for doing this. We should never forget rails.
Dayton , OH
How do I email pics? Contact link does not work.
I enjoy looking at the all the abandoned railways and their histories, it's quite exciting.Keep the up and going.
Cape Girardeau, MO
I love this site.I have some images to post, but I have problems with MicroSoft Outlook. Please advise.
Glad to see the information on the line from Banks to Vernonia. As president of the Friends of Banks Vernonia State Trail and Stub Stewart State Park, I've been looking for information on this Rails to Trails abandoned line. Do you know where I can get any more information or pictures?
What happened to the old format? Used to be able to check out new postings/updates on the yard page. Must I search state-by-state now?
[Tim, I've not had a chance to post anything in a while, so nothing shows up in the Yard. I've added a new message there to indicate this. Thanks! —Greg Harrison]
A friend from Canon City said an article in there paper mentioned that the railroad thru Canon City had been sold. I wondered if that was the whole route over Tennessee Pass to Dotsero he was refering to. Anyone aware of this.
great site loving it
san diego, CA
Enjoy Abandoned Rails, was wondering why there is no mention of the Fort Smith and Western Railway 1902-1939? Operated from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Guthrie,Oklahoma and on to El Reno, Oklahoma over The El Reno and Western RR.
Thanks Great site
The Tennessee Pass Sub is still considered "inactive" by UP. The only section where there is activity besides the Royal Gorge Route is between Parkdale and Texas Creek. This stretch has hopper cars, which are used on coal trains, being stored for future use. Anything north of Texas Creek has been silent, with the exception of a high-railer every so often, since 1997.
Your friend may have seen those hopper cars being taken in and out of storage.
I already contributed pics and info about the former C&S, which was formerly the DS&P, between Como and Breckenridge over Boreas Pass. There is another interesting line that runs just north of Denver where the crossings are paved over, signals and tracks still remain; yet they are all grown over. I believe this line was known as the Boulder Branch of the UP.
Hi, I would love to contribute to such a wonderful site. I have looked endlessly for a group like this, so I will be sending pictures of an abandoned segment of the Rock Island Line!
Little Rock, AR
A friend from Canon City said there has been 4 coal trains daily on the Tennessee Pass route. Does anyone know if UP has reopened the route?
Thank the men who created Rails-to-trails.
I have photographs of many lines which are not there any more.
I am a research volunteer for the Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum, and I just came across this site and I must say it is great. I noticed that one member, Nelson Lawry, was interested in info on the Clarkdale Smelter operations. If someone could have him contact me, I would be happy to oblige. I have walked the remains of 2 railroads here: One is the former AT&SF, and the Arizona-Extension, both of which ran right behind my house. Some of the A-E track is still here. Both merged into one line to Clemenceau, AZ about 1/4 mile south of my home. Keep up the great site
Love the site - hate the subject matter.
Johns Island, SC
my grand father worked for the M.K.T. and this site brings back the good time i had with him thank you for such a wonderful site.
I grew up in SE nebraska and old rail roads bound in the area. I hated to see the right of ways return to the land farmers as I think that that energy prices will make rails more able to compete with trucks. Chas
colorado springs, CO
Very nice website, and interesting reading. Riding my bicycle on rail-trails is a favorite pastime, and another way of exploring some railroad history. I am looking forward to submitting some Chicago area lines that have not yet been included in your database.
South Holland, IL
Enjoyed the site, there are a number of lines abandoned that go through Westford (village of Graniteville) & Groton, MA. Also, there's an 11 mile bike path that was a line from Nashua, NH to Ayer, MA. I'd like to know more about these lines.
I have spent many hours viewing your entries for the states that I have personally lived and enjoyed it very much. You are to be complemented. I did spend 20 years in Alaska and have materieal about the many short line railroads (both in distance and longevity) that were built in support of gold, coal and timber activities in the 1890's.
Again, Great Job!
Lake City Florida, FL
Great site. I have info and pics of the old ROW and other artifacts from: The Minarets & Western. The San Joaquin & Eastern. The Visalia Electric. And the Yosemite Valley RY.
On the SJ&E I found an incline with track still in place and a small wheeled piece of equipment still on tracks high in the mountains. Hoist house pics and steep incline tracks! Also small collapsed water tower. It was built 1912 and abandoned in 1933.
My e-mail is Yakland@hotmail.com for any one interested. I would love to contribute. Thanks!
Fresno , CA
I love your site, but it's missing the Chicago,Joliet and Peoria rwy, and the chicago and joliet interburan railway
Homer Glen, Goodings Grove , IL
What is the statis of the rails from Dotsero to Parkdale, Co. Is it scheduled for demolition?
This may be a strange question but are there any abandoned tracks around still in place that i could drive on. My truck is equipped with track wheels and I would love to drive on non serviced track. I have explored the CA desert and Nevada desert and have seen tracks that look out of service but did not want to chance meeting up with a locomotive...if you know what i mean. I'm sure it's against the law but maybe you could steer me right.
Lemon Cove, CA
What a neat website.
Glad to know we have a cousin with such great ideas.
We know nothing of railroads, but I'm sure we'll be learning something now that we have a place to go. HA
Gene and Bill Hager
[Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed the site. —Greg Harrison]
Neat site, love your map and the selection process. Your reaction to the postings on Altamont Press recently gives
me confidence in your site. Thanks for all your work Greg.
Portland OR, OR
[Thank you, Arlen! —Greg Harrison]
I could not find the Ocean Shore Ry.(later RR) listed on your site. Projected in 1905 as a double-track electric line along the coast 80+ miles from San Francisco to Santa Cruz,it left an unfinished gap of 26 miles between, operated on steam power (electric only in S.F), earned a profit in only one year, and was abandoned in 1920. Rails torn up in 1921. Some of the spectacular grade on ocean
cliffs and a few stations remain. Angelo
I really like your site and I look at it offen.. Was wondering if there was a way to find out information on what abandoned railroad a person can ride a speeder? I have a nice speeder and would like to try someday,, I do have several pictures of railroads not in use anymore that are true photos of one in connecticut, 3 springfield mo, one in Co the old southern.. one in georgia some in missippi.. people need to email me with their requests for info and I will try to send them copies
west plains , MO
I have been following this site for years, and with every change, update, and re-design, it just gets better and better, not to mention a constantly expanding library of interesting and useful information! This site remains the best and most comprehensive database of abandoned railroad content out there. Bravo!
Kevin M. Smith
I'm not sure if this the place to post this question, but I am unable to find the answer anywhere. I once read of a section of railroad that ran through a very narrow canyon pass with rushing water below, in AZ. The railroad company had a difficult time trying to figure out how to get the tracks through this pass, until a man came up with the idea of steel beams wedged into the rock walls of the pass and suspend the tracks, below the beams. I visit AZ yearly and would like to visit this area. It may now be a tourist attraction. If anyone knows of this area, I would like to visit and write a report about my experience.
Thank you so much for creating this website! I've always had an interest in old railroads ever since I traveled to Wildwood via directions from my Aunt which stated, "Cross over the railroad tracks" and there were no railroad tracks there. It's near 3 Bridges Road and Island Road and I've always wondered what railroad track it was and where it went to. I believe it's the track from Glassboro to Bridgeport.
I've also wondered about the railroad that crosses Goshen Rd. in South Dennis. Thanks so much for the information and pictures.
This is as neat of a web thing as I have seen, good job.
So much has disappeared from the railroad landscape over the years. Yet, it's impossible to take a drive, or use online maps without noticing the scars of progress left from so many rail lines. I am glad to see a site like this that supports both the railroads that built America, and the individuals who keep their memory alive.
It is nice to Know that people are takning the time to remember fallen flags of the railroad industry. Thanks to Abandonedrails.com i now know more about the areas the use to have rail service around my area which inspires me to get out there and do articles on railines the are no longer in existence. this site is definently a favorite.
We are new to FL and much intrigued by the abandoned FEC lines, especially the one running through the swamp near Hastings. Looking for any rails to trails. Are there any available in the St. Augustine to Palatka abandoned lines?
Scott and Jill Harmes
Riverdale north of Hastings, FL
I love this website and i am glad there is something like this out there because most of theses railroads would be forgotten.
According to Railroads of Indiana by Richard S. Simmons & Francis H. Parker the line between Frankfort, IN and Linden, IN a distance of 21.9 miles was abandoned in 1988 and between Linden, IN and Metcalf, Il a distance od 39.7 miles was abandoned in 1987. When I was just a kid, I remember trains on this line, my Papa Bill was an engineer at Frankfort retiring around this time, his line was the Frankfort, to Peoria line. I remember crossing this line on U.S. 52 on the way to Lafayette, the approach signal to the old Big Four NYC Chicago line was located just to the west of the highway, still lit. Now I am only 30 so the line was still in use when I was a kid. The line from Metcalf to Neoga is used by a shortline EIRR, they haul mainly grain when needed.
Jeremy J. Harris
Great website Greg!; I originated from western NY and didn't see an abandoned line from Brocton,NY south into PA. It was the Pennsy and I think it led to Corry,PA and Titusville. My grandfather was a fireman on that line from 1915 to I believe the late 30's. To see an abandoned railway makes me want to re-lay the track and bring it back to life!
Hilton Head Island, SC
Thanks for the reference point. Now I that have an area to research, I can continue building the Lower Juniata and Southern RR. Yes, it's an HO layout but I can use all the help I can get. I figure it could have been a feeder line into the PRR. I grew up watching GG-1's along the Susquehenna.
Great site - I found it on trains.com. I too have a meloncholy interest in abandoned rails and rail beds. The population may be sparse here in Montana, but there have been plenty of railroads - many of which are gone. I often imagine the many trains and travelers who once traversed these routes in another place and time!
I saw one picture on here of the NPs Homestake Pass route just east of Butte, Montana. That is by far my favorite, having traversed the route a number of times as a kid on the North Coast Limited.
But there are many other abandoned routes in Montana as well that have yet to be mentioned on your site.
There is the old Milkwaukee Road, with it's stunning route through Montana Canyon and the famed "Eagle's Nest" tunnel and trestle north of Bozeman - over Pipestone Pass south of Butte, and eventually over St. Paul pass on the Montana/Idaho border.
Much of the St.Paul Pass area of the route is now a preserved bicycle trail with numerous trestles and tunnels. The same goes for the Iron Horse Trail portion of the Milkaukee Road just west of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. There, the Hyak Tunnel was opened for pedestrian and bicycle traffic a number of years ago - and leads across a number of impressive trestles as well.
Another obscure route is the old spur line of the CB&Q which headed south from the old main line between Billings and Hardin, MT and extended to the Lovell and Cody, Wyoming areas. Of special interest is an old tunnel carved out of rock near Pryor Gap on the Crow Indian Reservation. The tunnel is a few hundred feet long and partially filled with falling rock, but as a kid, we ventured through it a number of times. I too have gotten on Google Maps - and can still trace much of the old route! Even time, fields and farms can't completely eliminate the old railroad grade!
Railroads will always be an important part of our past - and with luck, a more valued part of our future! Thank you for a site where we can come, see and learn about railroad days gone by!
Abandoned rails, forgotten trails
In secret places hide
Ghosts of the past are all that last
Where thousands used to ride.
The lonesome mourns of distant horns
Still haunt the hills and vales
The sweet refrains of long lost trains
Still drift upon the rails.
With grace and ease they chased the breeze
Beneath a big blue sky
Through valleys grand, green forest land
And mountain ranges high.
Through canyons deep, on ridges steep
Around the curves and bends
Past farm and town, up hill and down
And on like rushing winds.
Through tunnels long, on trestles strong
Above the creeks and streams
Through night and day, they made their way
Atop the iron beams.
Like restless winds that wander in
Their spirits still remain
And dreams still flow, from long ago
When travel was by train.
That wonderous thrill is with me still
Of Vista Domes up high
And sitting there with wide-eyed stare
As scenes went rolling by!
But time moves on, those trains are gone
Just memories left - and tales
Of journeys grand, across the land
On now abandoned rails.
Randall Steffan Copyright 2005
I currently work on UPRR and have 3 brothers that all work for different RR's. My Dad worked for the Milwaukee. My brothers work for BNSF, CPRail, DM&E(sub to CPRR). I guess it's in our blood. Anyway I think your site is great! And there are quite a few of lines that my brothers know about that have been abandoned. 1. There was line of CGW that went north of Hanover IL, West of that was Winston Tunnel that had a fan system for the smoke from steam engines. My brother my have some pictures I'll see if he'll send them. Great site.
Like most of the comments, I too stumbled upon your site accidentally. I won't soon forget you now...I'll be back with tons of stuff from the 80s and 90s between Oakland and Stockton (mostly Altamont and Tracy). Sure wish I'd have thought of this concept. It's nice to see other fans of fallen flags....
I've been tracking ghost railroads since 98, but this is my first visit to your site. (ironically, i found it listed at disused-rlys in england). love the site, will send what i have as soon as i get it organized. (WA,AZ,NM,CA,and the Quanah, Acme, and Pacific).
This is a nice site with much more work to be done. I have been trying to trace the abandonment of the CNW Jewell - Wall Lake, Iowa branch line so far without success. I grew up in one of the towns served at a time when passenger/freight service was at its peak in the late 30's early 40's. Not only was the branch abandoned, the tracks were all pulled. Keep working on the site.
Excellent website, glimpses of an America from better times
This is a great site. I've been an abandoned rail hunter for years and never knew this site existed. Although I'm always on the hunt in Texas, I also do a great amount of rail hunting in the northeast looking for remnants of many of the smaller regional lines that cris-crossed NY, NJ and PA. My most recent hunt was for the Lehigh and Hudson River RR. I'd love to contribute to the site at some future date. Great job!
This website is great! I can't believe it took me this long to stumble upon it. When was it launched? Is there a system for visitors to become contributors?
[Yes! Just send me an email at
You have some really good stuff. In the early part of my RR career, I ran on the line from Riverdale to Belle Plain, Kansas. This on the Mopac and we were running from Conway Springs to Dexter, Kansas. We ran over the Santa Fe RR from Belle Plain to Mulvane and then to Winfield where we got back on the Mopac. Our goal was to make connection with the train out of Coffeyville, Kansas.
Ron Kiser, UPRR Conductor
Oklahoma City, OK
I really enjoy this site. It has good information along with nice photos. Is there a way that people can contact each other or trade E-Mail addresses so that we could communicate with one another or exchange information with out causing disruption to this site? I would like to contact some of your guests to help answer questions and exchange information.
San Diego, CA
[Yes, there is the Abandoned Railroads group at Yahoo.com. I would suggest joining. Thanks Keith! —Greg Harrison]
I'd sure like to get better detailed information about my one contribution to abandonedrails so far: The El Centro-Holtville SP line. I plan to submit photos and articles for the Eagle Mountain to Ferrum SP line and the Phoenix West SP line-both almost ready but I'm having a hell of a time battling unemployment and expenses etc. these days.
San Diego, CA
Great job on this site. We need to get more of these published and maybe someday back in use.
Wonderful web site...........thanks
Thanks for the great website. I frequent it often. I especially like the maps that accompany the pictures. I'm glad to have been able to contribute some pictures to the site.
San Rafael, CA
You have an interesting website. I learned a lot.
Joseph Normand Grinnell
Grand Isle, ME
This is, as many have noted, a delightful collection. I am a historian of technology at MIT and would like to contact you about a web mapping project I am pursuing on abandoned infrastructure. See more about me at http://heptanesia.net and thanks again for your wonderful site.
I'm so glad to know that there are others out there who find this as interesting as I do. There are numerous abandonded lines all around my area. I am one of the few people I know who gets excited at finding a clue or remnant of railroading. I hope I can add to your collection.
San Gabriel, CA
Abandoned railroads are something that most people don't even notice, let alone have a sincere interest in or passion for. Then, there's the rest of us! I really enjoy digging into history and taking a look at what once was in the formerly widespread and vitally important railroad industry. This site is the best comprehensive database of abandoned railroad content I've been able to find out there. I absolutely love it! Thank you Greg Harrison for all of your hard work, and to everyone who has submitted information and pictures!
Kevin M. Smith
One of the best abandoned railroad sites on the Internet, period. A true collection of wonderful relics from yesteryear that capture the history of one of the greatest forms of transportation ever invented. The information provided here helps to highlight the tremendous impact rail has had on the progression and evolution of our nation. Keep up the great work!
I am adding the routes of abandoned railroads in New England to Google Maps. You can find the index here: http://www.rubecula.com/RRMaps/
Boston area, MA
This is a great site for railroad archaeologists. Merry Christmas and God bless.
Great site....I also like tracking down old ROW....Send me your email address....I'll send you 2 pics for your site...The Katy roundhouse in in Franklin, MO in 1928 and the same site in 2008
Originally Chicago, IL
I really like the site. I check it frequently, but wish you had something on the old Key System which provided rail service in the Bay Area until 1958.
Lancaster [orig. Oakland], CA
Great site. I really enjoy using this along with Google Earth to look at where railroads existed and what has become of the ROW's. Very interesting. Would like to see more stories about abandoned railroads in Texas. One that comes to mind is the Port Bolivar and Iron Ore RR that ran from Longview to Ore City. Very little info is available on this short line and it would make a great model railroad layout if that info was available.
I love the site, I've been actively hunting down some of the lesser known abandoned railways in California and Nevada.
I'd love to share some of the abandoned railways of central California, but would also love it if someone could cover some of the other former railways of Nevada.
The railroads I can share with you are as follows: Pacific Coast Railway, Stone Canyon Coalfields Railroad, San Luis Obispo National Guard Branch. In Nevada, I'd love for someone to trace the ROW's of the Tonopah & Goldfield, the SP Mina Branch, the Carson & Colorado in Nevada.
Some of the other railroads I'd love someone to trace are: the Cloudcroft Branch in NM, the Capitan Branch in NM, the Tucumcari-Memphis ROW through NM, the panhandle of TX, into AR. That particular ROW can be seen from route 66, but there are branches that aren't on any map...sounds like I've stumbled on a research project for someone.
Anyways, great site!
San Luis Obispo, CA
I love the site, i'm a big railroading fan. I wish you had more on Kansas, though. In Hutchinson, for example, are many abandoned sidings and interesting railroad finds. For instance, near the current BNSF office is an old building, maybe a shed or an old engine workshop that has the old Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe circle logo above the door. Currently both BNSF and Union Pacific have lines going through town and both are pretty busy. Amtrak also runs the Kansas City Chief passenger train through town. Anyway, i don't know if you do trips but the town and the area around it are pretty interesting. There are a couple old bridges around town, 1 by city hall in particular. Another crosses the Arkansas River, but the only thing you can see are the old pilings. Another old line that was torn up about 6-8 years ago used to go to a grain elevator in the middle of town. Finally, there also used to be a trolley line that ran from Hutchinson to Newton and back. Hopefully you can use this info somehow. Thanks for the site and keep up the good work!