The return of 'Railroad Maps'

Posted by David Lassen
on Sunday, July 29, 2018

The 'Railroad Maps' special issue, which sold out shortly after publication in 2013, is back in print. (Photo by David Lassen)
Fans of Trains Magazine maps, we have some good news.

Our 2013 special issue, Railroad Maps, which collected 45 maps — most from the pages of Trains, but also including four created just for the issue — is back in print. It is scheduled to be available at newsstands and hobby shops beginning Tuesday, July 31.

The original printing sold out so quickly that even the Trains staff was caught a bit off guard — not even everyone on the staff has one, and those of us who do have had to keep track of them pretty carefully.  It remained available only in digital form, and for those of us who enjoy maps, that’s just not nearly as satisfying as having them in physical form. (I’m definitely one of those people; I keep map books for both the Chicago and Milwaukee areas in my car, because — among other things —I want to be able to look at my whole route when I’m going somewhere, rather than the little portion my cellphone will show me.)

Anyway, if you missed it the first time around — or maybe just wore the first copy out — your second chance has arrived.

A couple of notes:

— This is a reprint, rather than an update. While our mapmakers — including current contributer Bill Metzger and staff illustrator Rick Johnson — and editor Matt Van Hattem did a spectacular job on this issue, there were, inevitably, a few errors. The problem is, any notes on those have been lost to time, since no one anticipated a reprint. (We’ve learned our lesson on this. If you find something, let us know, and we’ll keep the notes this time.)

— As mentioned above, distribution for this is a bit different, too. At least initially, you’ll find Railroad Maps only at the hobby shops and newsstands that carry Kalmbach publications. We hope you’ll support these businesses that support us, and have helped us introduce Trains and its sister publications to readers for many years.

The accompanying photo, by the way, shows the reprint and two of the maps that are exclusive to it — the Seattle-Tacoma area, and “Whatever Happened to the Burlington Route?”  (The other two show signaled rail lines of the U.S. and how the movement of Wyoming coal changed between 2001 and 2011.)

And the particularly observant may also note a piece of another map below the magazine. That’s part of a map we're working on for Railroad Maps II, which is already in development, although it won’t be out until 2020. But we’ll tell you more about that when the time comes.

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