great map of the tracks

Discussion in 'General' started by craigh, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. craigh

    craigh Member

    i have a great book i like to let everyone know about it is call comprehensive railroad atlas of north america praires east and ozarks by mike walker published in 2004 in england, it shows maps of all active and abandoned tracks and has a lot of good info in it just want to let everyone know:)
  2. Yup, a very useful reference source! Each paperback volume covers something like one to six states of the US, depending on the size of the states and the amount of track they contain. Texas gets its own volume, while all the New England states, plus a few of the smaller Canadian provinces, all share space in "New England and Canadian Maritime". And Alaska, big though it is, had so little rail mileage that it easily fits into the "Pacific Northwest" volume with WA and OR. The maps don't show detailed local track schematics, but they do show the general location of both active and abandoned rail lines, with labels indicating the most recent and previous owner of each line.

    I've found them to be very useful, although there are a few omissions of minor and short-lived lines. For example, the "Prairies West" volume, which covers Kansas, shows the old KCC&S/SLSF line east of Olathe, but does not show the portions of the KCC&S's predecessor, the short-lived St.Louis Lawrence & Denver, that were abandoned by the KCC&S early in its history (Olathe, KS to Cedar Jct., near Desoto, KS; and Raymore Jct. to Pleasant Hill, MO.)

    The overlapping coverage area in the "Prairies East and Ozarks" volume does show these short-lived segments, suggesting that the author is making ongoing attempts to improve the coverage. The "Prairies West" volume was copyrighted in 2002, while the "Prairies East and Ozarks" volume was copyrighted in 2004. It's not perfect yet, though, since it inexplicably identifies the Olathe-Cedar Jct. trackage as MP property.

    On the whole, they're very informative and (mostly) accurate. The most recent revisions of some of their midwestern volumes include interurban trackage not shown in earlier editions. Currently they're working on coverage of Canada.

    The publisher, the delightfully-named Steam Powered Video, has a list of the whole multi-volume set at . They may also be available through bookstores, hobbyshops, online retailers, etc., for those who don't like dealing with British Pounds and currency conversions.

    The only comparable atlas in print, so far as I know, is Richard Carpenter's admirable "Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946", whose volumes provide more detail about railroad facilities, in a very attractive hardcover format, but (as the title suggests) focus specifically on one point in time and do not attempt to record trackage which existed at other times. (Published by Johns Hopkins University press. See their website, or .) Unfortunately, the three volumes published so far have not yet reached Frisco territory. It seems Mr. Carpenter is working his way west from the Atlantic, and the most recent volume covers Indiana, Ohio and lower Michigan.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2009

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