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Railroad History & Preservation - USA & Canada

This page provides a directory of railroad historical societies, railway preservation groups, and websites offering a history of railroads in the USA and Canada.

Railroad History Books - Thousands of new, used, and out-of-print railroad history books

Abandoned Rails - Photos and information about abandoned railroad right-of-ways

Abandoned Train Tunnels - Photos and information about dozens of abandoned railroad tunnels worldwide

ALCO Historical & Technical Society - Plans to create an Alco museum to preserve historic artifacts

ALCo World - Photos, locomotive specifications, and model numbers; by Rolf Stumpf

America's Freedom Trains - History, timeline, and memorabilia of the 1947 and 1976 American Freedom Trains

American Railroad Women - Research and traveling photo exhibit of railroad women's history

American Rails - Informational resource guide to American railroad history and operations

American Railway Caboose Historical Educational Society - Association for the study and preservation of cabeese

American Steam Railroad Preservation Association - Nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving, displaying, and operating historic railroad equipment, including Frisco steam locomotive # 1352

American Time Table and Train Order System, The - History of the telegraph's key role in a uniquely North American system of railway operation

Amtrak Historical Society - Preserving the history of Amtrak

Association of Railway Museums - Leads in the advancement of railway heritage through education and advocacy

Auctions on eBay - 100,000+ collectibles and railroadiana items including vintage ads, maps, timetables, tickets, stock certificates, watches, clocks, signs, lanterns, utensils, locks, apparel, and more

Birney Safety Car Museum - History, photos, and models of the Birney single-truck trolley developed in the 1910s

Bridgehunter.com - Database of historic bridges and tunnels throughout the United States

Bridges, Stations & Tunnels - Guide to the earliest, longest, highest, and largest railroad structures

Budd-RDC.org - Photos, history, and current operating information about Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs)

Canada By Rail - Organization of Canadian tourist railways, museums, historical societies, rail tour operators, historic rail stations, and heritage sites

Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) - Preservation and dissemination of information concerning railway heritage in Canada, with many divisions organizing their own meetings, projects, and activities

Canadian Railway Music - List of Canadian railway music including classical, folk, and country songs

Canadian Street Railways - History of street railways and interurban electric railways in Canada

Carknocker Railroad Stories - Stories and photos by railway carmen

Carolwood Pacific Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving the personal railroad legacy of Walt Disney

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum - History of the Transcontinental Railroad and the linking the Central and Union Pacific Railroads on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah

Chapel Cars of America - About thirteen churches-on-rails that followed the railroads west from 1890 to the 1940s and brought the gospel and sacraments to the people living along the tracks

Classic Streamliners - Articles and photos celebrating vintage passenger trains, private railcars, train travel, tourist railroads, and more

Conrail Cabins & Cabooses - Exchange information about Conrail's fleet of cabins and cabooses

Corporate History of Railroads in North America - Corporate (family) charts for researching a particular family or individual names of railroads

Dan's Wigwag Site - History, photos, and locations of surviving wigwag flagman grade crossing signals throughout the US

Danger Ahead: Historic Railway Disasters - An investigation of significant railway accidents from the earliest days of rail transportation to the present

Diesels From Schenectady - Devoted to Alcos both past and present with photos and information

Driving the Last Spike - History from the Museum of the City of San Francisco

Early Railroads - Records and firsts for railroad construction and operation in the U.S. and worldwide

F40PH Preservation Society - Preserves history and artifacts related to Amtrak's F40PH diesel locomotives

Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos - Extensive photo galleries from fallen flags throughout North America

FallnFlags - Pre Burlington Northern locomotive photos, especilly covering the Great Northern Railroad; includes Great Northern Sky Blue and Orange paint schemes, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland and Seattle, and Burlington

Forgotten Railways - Ongoing project to research, trace, and map railroad abandonments

Friends of the Burlington Northern Railroad - Historical society focused on the BN and BNSF

Geared Steam Locomotive Works - Preserving and promoting information on North American built geared steam locomotives including Shay, Heisler, Climax, Byers, Gilbert, Dunkirk, Willamette, Davenport, Baldwin, Bell, and more

International Society for the Preservation of Women in Railroading - Traveling exhibit provides an educational look into the world of women railroaders

Iron & Steel Industry Special Interest Group - Group for those interested in the railways of steelworks and also the steelworks themselves; both prototype fans and modelers are welcome

John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library - Special library within the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Johnson Farebox Company - History and photos of Johnson and Cleveland fareboxes found in many trolleys, streetcars, and buses until the 1960s

Locomotive Records - Guide to the earliest, fastest, heaviest, largest, and most powerful steam locomotives

Logging Railroads of North America - List of all known logging railroad operations in North America

Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society - Devoted to the activities of the MNLPS, owners and operators of MN Class loco 35028 "Clan line"

Merci Train - Photos and history of the 49-car train filled with gifts, given by France to the USA in 1948

Mike's Railway History - Extensive history of world railways to the mid 1930's; by Michael Irlam

Multimodalways Railroad Archives - Collection of scanned maps, track charts, and various documents from past and present North American railroads

National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) - Official site of the US national historical organization

North American Railcar Operators Association - Dedicated to the preservation and safe, legal operation of railroad equipment, historically used in the maintenance of way

North American Railroad Family Trees - Chronology of North American Railroad predecessors

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association - Dedicated to preserving the history of America's first northern transcontinental railroad

Old Time Trains - Preserving Canadian railway heritage with articles, stories, photographs, and more

Pacific Railway Act, The - An 1862 act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean

PCC Car - Not So Standard - History and photos of PCC cars

PCC Cars - Photos and information about PCC cars; by Gerard Scheltens

Pennsy Railcar Restorations LLC - Provides on-site and off-site consulting for railcar acquisition, transportation, and restoration

Preserved North American Electric Railway Cars Roster - Searchable database of preserved North American electric railway cars with car specifications, ownership history, and photos

Pullman Library - Over a million drawings, original specifications, correspondence, photos, and documentation pertaining to Pullman and Pullman-Standard passenger and freight cars; Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois

Railroad and Streetcar Historical Markers - List of railroad-related roadside and other permanent markers with text, photos, maps, detailed location information, and commentary

Railroad Car History - Publishes electronic books on railroad cars and related subjects

Railroad Evangelistic Association - Non-denominational, non-partisan Christian railroad fellowship

RailRoad Genealogical Society - Dedicated to locating, compiling, and preserving every record pertaining to the employees of America's historic railroads

Railroad Heritage Blog - Covers both modern and vintage railroading, with equipment walk-arounds, vintage photos, and preservation news

Railroad Maps Archive - Historic railroad maps from throughout the USA, available free from the University of Alabama

Railroad Maps Collection - Over 600 railroad maps from 1828-1900 from the Library of Congress archives

Railroad Nicknames - Guide to nicknames given to past and present North American railroads

Railroad Police - Promotes the history of railroad policing

Railroad Signal Site - Detailed photos and descriptions of searchlight, colorlight, wig wag, and gyralight railroad signals

Railroad Signaling and Communications - Photos and information about a variety of railroad signals and communications equipment

Railroad Station Historical Society, Inc - Compilations of extant railroad / railway structures in U.S. and Canada, historical research on depots, references on railroad structures, and more

Railroad Station Home Page, The - Devoted to the architecture and history of railroad stations around the world

Railroad Stories - Collection of railroad stories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Railroad.net - Dozens of railfan forums, postcards, prototype photo gallery, and more

RailroadRob.net - Old railroad postcards and documents, history of the streetcar service in Grand Rapids MI, and a guide to hotels and resorts of special interest to railfans and rail travelers

Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - Promotes research and encourages the preservation of documentation pertinent to business history, finance, labor history, biography, and technology

Railway Mail Service - History of mail delivery by rail, from the USPS

Railway Preservation News - Online journal of railway history and preservation, edited by Bob Yarger

Railways in Music - History of railways in music, by Philip Scowcroft

Railways of Canada Archives - Preserving Canadian railway history with dozens of articles and photos

RailwaySurgery.org - Preserves the history of railway surgeons and hospitals, and educates the public about their work and contributions to medicine

Rare Map Collection - Historic railroad maps available online from the University of Georgia

Record Railroad Routes - Guide to the highest, steepest, and longest railroad grades worldwide

Richard Leonard's Rail Archive - Photos and commentary about steam locomotives operating in the 1950s on North American railroads including the CB&Q, CPR, GTW, IC, NKP, NYC, and UP

Richard's Parlor Car - Devoted to the history of various North American Passenger cars, mostly Canadian, CNR, CPR, and some American

Richard's Planet Sleeping-Car - Historical information and data on various sleeping and parlor cars operated by Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and Pullman in Canada, the US, and Mexico

RRSignal.com - Information and photos of signals, CTC equipment, relays, and more

Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society - News, information, merchandise, and more

Semaphores.com - Extensive list of living and museum semaphores, photos, semaphore history, and more

Significant Dates in Canadian Railway History - by Colin Churcher

Slim Rails - Photos and information about narrow gauge railroads including Carson & Colorado, Durango & Silverton, East Tennessee & Western North Carolina, and East Broad Top

St. Nicholas Mountain - One of six tall-window observation cars built by American Car & Foundry for the Mid-Century Empire Builder, now undergoing restoration for private railcar journeys

Steam in the Americas - Covers the prospects for working and near-working steam in the Americas, as well as highlighting some preserved steam locomotives and relics

SteamLocomotive.com - Extensive guide to surviving steam locomotives in North America, including engines presently operating and under restoration

Streamliner Memories - Railroad brochures, ads, timetables, menus, and tickets from the 1950s and 60s

Streamliner Schedules - Schedules of the streamliners from the mid-1930s to the late 1960s

Tap Lines - Offers scanned railroad books for historians and modelers including official guides, equipment registers, and locomotive builders lists on CD and DVD

Technical Society for Rail Operations Safety & Signaling - Focus on safety and signaling includes listing of railway names, wreck/incident info, and historic info on signaling and grade crossings

The Birney Car - Online book with rosters and history of streetcars by state

The Caboose Page - Photos of cabooses and information on their use

The Diesel Shop - Comprehensive source for motive power rosters and first generation locomotives

The Yard Limit: American Diesel Switchers - Spotter's guide, photo gallery, news, and more

Train Movies - Guide to more than 130 classic train movies, many now rare and out-of-print, including details about filming locations and featured railroads, stations, and equipment

Train Records - Guide to the fastest, longest, and heaviest trains in U.S. and world history

Train Wrecks - Guide to the earliest, deadliest, and strangest train wrecks, crashes, derailments, and accidents

Transcontinental Railroad, The - History of the leaders, founders, and workers on the Central Pacific Railroad

Transportation Planning and Train Dispatching - Historical and technical information about train dispatching, planning, and management

Trolley Cars Dot Com - Restoration projects, preservation, and more

True Story Of Casey Jones, The - Published in "Erie Railroad Magazine" (April 1928)

Union Pacific Historical Society - Preservation of the history of the Union Pacific Railroad from its beginning in 1862 to the operation as it is today

Union Pacific History & Photos - History of the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad, historic railroad equipment, and photos

Vagel Keller's Industrial Heritage Homepage - Historical and modeling info about America's coal, iron & steel, and railroad industries

Web Lurker's DOME.main - History of railroad "dome" cars including photos and information

Yellow Ribbon Express - Proposed 3-year, 150-city, steam-powered train tour to honor America's military

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Related RailServe.com Categories

Historical Societies: North America

Historical Societies: World

Railfan Discussion Groups: North America

Rails-to-Trails & Urban Greenways

Steam Locomotives

Tourist Railroads & Museums: North America

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