This site contains a set of Google Maps which chart the routes of abandoned railroads in New England. See index below. Some of these tracks have been converted into rail trails. For more detail on the whys and wherefores of this project, see below.
This project aims to map all of the abandoned railroads of New England. The primary sources of the railroad information are the books by R. D. Karr (see Links, below). The primary sources for exact details of tracks are:
There are two reasons for inclusion in this set of map overlays:
In some cases, there are two tracks - the Google track and my track. Generally, where there is a difference, you should assume my track is the more accurate, although the differences are usually within the tolerance imposed by the "rectification" of the satellite images. The tracks as seen from satellite images can be very hard to follow or very easy. When the track is an unimproved single track deep in coniferous forests, it can be extremely difficult to follow accurately, especially when the satellite image has been taken at an angle, rather than overhead. Clues to the true track come from the historical topo maps, from the terrain view which sometimes shows cuttings, embankments, etc. and other logical features (trains generally avoid going over hills, for example). In some cases, I have checked the track by GPS. However, you should never rely on my tracks for any purpose involving personal danger, such as hiking.
These maps are generally not complete, although the MA - Boston NW map is more or less complete. In some cases, a track has been included as a place-holder, but is not considered as accurately depicted as it could be given available resources. In such cases, the track is shown in yellow as a narrow line. Other line colors are not considered significant.
The "K" numbers referred to in the map descriptions are references to the lines as detailed in Lost Railroads of New England by R.D. Karr (see links, below). Numbers of the form RDK1 reference the Rail Lines of Southern New England also by Karr.
Author: Robin Hillyard, Rubecula Software, LLC.
Copyright: 2008, 2009, 2010 Rubecula Software, LLC.
Last updated: 2010/08/03.
If you would like to email me, please join my last name, the "at" sign, and "rubecula.com" together and use the subject "Railroad Maps".
Please link to this page if you have related content of your own.
Note: while I agree that "historical" is probably more correct than "historic", I'm not going to change the name now.