Are Railroad Atlas' worth the money?

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  • Member since
    August, 2019
  • From: Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
  • 41 posts
Are Railroad Atlas' worth the money?
Posted by steve-in-kville on Thursday, September 12, 2019 11:36 AM

The one I'm looking at is $35. I only really need maybe three counties (in my state) worth of maps. Is there another source? I found plenty of older maps online, but nothing recent that would have mile markers and the sidings.

Regards - Steve

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,227 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:11 PM

If you have a reasonably large screen, and access to reasonable printing, see how far you get with

before you need things that are only in one of the proprietary printed volumes.  (That community likely is a lot quicker both in finding and correcting errors and in adding new resources or functionality...)

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,869 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:11 PM

Kind of an "up-to-you"  Steve.  I've got a railroad atlas for the Northeast that ran me $35, but I thought it was worth it, just for research purposes and general information.

However, if you only need information for three counties in your state let me suggest the road map books put out by ADC.  They're quite complete and will show rail lines in addition to the roads in your area, at least the ones I have do.

Barnes and Noble bookstores carry them, and I think  you can order them on line.  

Average price is around $17.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 19,489 posts
Posted by tree68 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 5:24 PM

A rather inconsistent source of railroad data is the older topographic maps on  

Sometimes there are no maps at all, sometimes they go back to the early 20th century.  

They won't have mileposts or railroad unique landmarks, but they do usually show ownership of the line (good for working out a line's history), and may show certain location names that may not appear on conventional maps.

There are generally aerial images for a number of different years, too.  The resolution isn't always that good, but you can still pick things out.

Another tool in the toolbox.

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  • Member since
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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:04 PM

For mile markers and other info try:


  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • 16 posts
Posted by Ajsik on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:37 PM

Also, check online to see if your state DOT publishes its official railroad map. Some even offer free printed copies.

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