Thank you for visiting my site! This map and website is the preservation of the memory of forgotten transportation, and other sites of historic value.  As railroads and lines come and go, the idea is to preserve their history and memory here. I am not the only transportation history website, nor am I the only site dedicated to mapping abandoned lines.

My story begins as a child growing up just outside Chicago, I’d always had a love of the railroad. There were so many different lines, it was and remains today one of the best places to railfan in the world. Ironically, however, my hometown of Bolingbrook didn’t have any railroads, or so I’d thought. I discovered a line off of Old Chicago Dr as a small kid, but much to my chagrin, the line was in rough shape, and certainly didn’t often host a train. In fact, I had been too late already to see any activity along it.

Fast forward many, many years and the magic of Google Maps allows me to traverse the United States and the world at my leisure, all from my seat. As such, I begin to discover that Bolingbrook is not alone to the phenomenon of abandoned railroads. In fact, there are plenty of abandoned rights-of-way all across the US. On a whim, using My Maps, I decided to trace one, not knowing I was embarking on a path that would lead to what this map is today, and develop relationships with tons of people across the world. Today, that same map has over 6,000 rights-of-way, in addition to two other maps spun off from it, for ghost towns and interesting railroad points of interest.

And it’s nowhere near complete.

The vastness of the railroad network today pales in comparison to the days of yesteryear, some lines have simply been abandoned for scrap in the desert (Tonopah & Tidewater, et. al), destroyed by mother nature (Kinzua Bridge), flooded to create lakes (Many more than I’d realized), and one was even left fully intact deep in the Maine forest (Eagle Lake & West Branch Railroad).

As stated earlier, this project isn’t complete, and will never be complete. As such I fully welcome your criticism and information to help make it that much more accurate I should note that I am not the only one doing this. OpenRailwayMap lists railroad abandonments, however the website is mainly dedicated to mapping currently existing railways, and it's harder to find what you're looking for with regard to specific abandoned railroad lines in my opinion. In addition, abandonedrails.com has been a terrific resource for finding abandoned railroad lines as well, and they have a large following.

Thanks for your interest!


  1. Are you in any way associated with this site:
    http://www.abandonedrails.com (the site seems to have gone AWOL in Aug, 2016).

    Ed Bradford

    1. Ed, thanks for the question, we are not affiliated in any way with abandonedrails.com, although that’s a great site for finding Rail abandonments, and one I’ve used to cite my own tracings extensively.