Sunday, September 19, 2010

Golden State Spikes

I've been wasting a lot of time with GMaps, and the latest product is this map of railroads in California.  It's definitely the most extensive map online, and I hope people will find it informative.

A few comments are in order:
  • The map is comprehensive but not complete.
  • I've included the interurban lines of several systems, but not their local streetcar lines.  Additionally, no strictly urban streetcar systems are included.  This might seem like an arbitrary division, but interurbans often hauled freight (in small amounts) whereas streetcar systems almost never did.   Thus, the distinction.
  • No modern transit systems are included.  Right-of-ways abandoned by their original operator and reused later by a transit system are shown as abandoned.
  • Freight spurs are not included, unless they are a remnant of a longer line.
  • Temporary logging spurs are not included.
  • A number of abandoned lines are submerged in various reservoirs around the state.  I've drawn lines through the water, but they are not at all accurate.
  • A few abandoned lines around Sacramento were torn up before 1880, and no drawings of their locations exist.
  • Colors are as follows: green = BNSF; brown = UP; blue = everybody else; purple = operating narrow gauge; red = abandoned standard gauge; orange = abandoned narrow gauge.
  • Because of the limitations of GMaps, the content is split over several pages.  I've arranged the lines from north to south, but I have no control over where the breaks occur.  If an area you would like to look at is on two different pages, try flipping back and forth.  The page breaks aren't fixed, so all of the lines you want to see may (or may not) end up on the same page.

1 comment:

NOTaREALmerican said...

Fascinating (California) map. I’ve driven highway 113 from Dixon to Dixon Jct and it seems a bit to undulating to have been a rail line. Could this have been a projected line? There were a number of projected interurban lines in Sacramento area.
A great addition would be a note about where you got the information on these various segments (perhaps railroad names). While I’m not an expert on old railroad lines, by any stretch of the imagination, I do enjoy old maps and railroads and your map around the area I live (Sacramento) appears quite accurate.

Nice work!