Posts

Why is a short road in Will County named the Chicago-Bloomington Trail?

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There's a mystery I've been wanting to solve each time I venture down Cedar Rd in central Will County. A slightly-over one mile stretch of road extends from Cedar Road to Hadley Road in unincorporated Will County, near the similarly named settlement of the same name . Were it not named the Chicago Bloomington Trail, it wouldn't bear much though, but given how it's quite far from Chicago, and very far from Bloomington, IL, the nearest Bloomington that comes to mind, one has to wonder if it is a surviving relic that was once part of a much longer road/trail? Chicago-Bloomington Rd at Meader Rd. ( Google Maps Street View ) The answer, like with many roads in the US, is yes, or more accurately, perhaps . It has its origins in old Indian trails , but was plowed as a singular route between Chicago and Bloomington in 1831-34 by new settlers looking  to connect their claims on bodies of water and provide easy access to trade amongst themselves and within the two cities. The or

The Tennessee Alabama & Georgia Railway

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The Tennessee Alabama & Georgia Railway, often simplified as the TAG Route, which also was its reporting mark, was a short line railroad running from Chattanooga, TN southwest to Gadsden, AL for a distance of roughly 90 miles. Tennessee Alabama & Georgia 602 Steam Engine The railroad began operations in 1891 under the name of the Chattanooga Southern Railway, nicknamed the Pigeon Mountain Route, as it followed the area of Pigeon Mountain, which was the basis for its freight haul - namely coal, timber and iron. 1893 Timetable. Image: HawkinsRails An 1892 map shows that the ultimate plan of the road was to extend southwesterly from Gadsden to Birmingham, but this never came to fruition for the company - although the two cities were already connected by rail via Attalla, AL. "Map showing the proposed Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia Railroad connecting and extending the Chattanooga Southern Railway, Marietta and North Georgia Railway, Knoxville, Cumberland Gap and Louisville

Another LiDAR Find: The Oklahoma & Arkansas Railway

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The Oklahoma and Arkansas Railway was a short line railway roughly twenty miles in length, running from Salina, OK eastward to a point referred to as Day, OK. Despite its name, it operated exclusively in the state of Oklahoma in both Mayes and Delaware County.  Construction began in 1921, with the line wholly owned by the  National Hardwood Company  in pursuit of timber interests. Neither Salina Junction (or Kenwood Junction), nor Day, Oklahoma exist on maps anymore, and for us to find the line, it took numerous resources to find the track of the railway. The line is among the more obscure lines, and it only ran between 1921-1926 between the aforementioned points. Having such a short life meant that the remaining track of the line was invisible on satellite imagery, which can also be attributed to the terrain of the area. It also meant that it managed to avoid being on USGS Topo Maps, since it was too late to be included on the 1904 Siloam Springs Quad, and had been long abandoned by t

L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway: A Short Lived Short Railway

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Guest blogger Alain Bernier returns to discuss some of Quebec's abandoned railways. If you'd be interested in doing a guest blog yourself, feel free to reach out, we always appreciate those willing to help add relevant content to our site! With that said, here's Bernier's post about the short line L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway. L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway: A short lived short railway 1886-1903 © Alain Bernier, 2021  The L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway (also known as the L’Assomption Railway Company) was a very short 3.33-mile (i) line connecting the villages of L’Assomption and L’Épiphanie, both located  some 30 miles from Montréal in the Lanaudière region of the province of Quebec, Canada. It was as short lived as it was short and its history is closely linked to the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and  Occidental Railway (QMO&OR).  Photo 1 : The steam locomotive and the passenger carriage at the terminus in L’Assomption (Source: Fonds de la vi

Our New Abandoned & Out-of-Service Railroad Lines Map, and Other Exciting Projects Coming Soon!

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By now, hopefully you have heard that we are not using Google My Maps to host our  Abandoned & Out-of-Service Railroad Lines Map  anymore, but rather hosting it on our own website. The old Google Map has been inaccessible for several weeks now, but I've been so busy working on the migration that I haven't really had a chance to blog or discuss the new map in as much detail as I've liked.  I still have a bit much to do on making sure the descriptive data matches what was on the Google Map, including contributor information, so if you submitted a line to us, rest assured, your credit will be added to the new map soon enough! The new map also allows users to change the basemap, the default basemap is now OpenStreetMap, but that can be changed by clicking the box in the lower left hand corner of the map. Now you can select multiple views for the data, including satellite and topo views! My personal favorite is the USA Topo Maps! Why the change? Well, given the incredible am

The Cadiz Railroad

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Much like the Union Railroad of Oregon brought rail service to Union, OR; the Cadiz Railroad did the same for the citizens of Cadiz, KY, who were otherwise without rail service, with the Illinois Central Railroad line about eight miles east at Gracey as the closest connection to the network. Cadiz Railroad 100. Image: Trigg County Historical Society The eponymous railroad would give the city rail service, running 10 miles west from Gracey, KY, and a junction with the Illinois Central, to downtown Cadiz.  The original track of Cadiz Railroad in Brown between Gracey (or Cadiz Jct.) and Cadiz as shown on our Abandoned & Out-of-Service Railroad Lines Map . Grading began in 1901, and the route surveyed included unnecessary curves to artificially increase the size of the line from the eight miles from Gracey, to 10 miles. This source  suggests that this was done to make the road an "official" railroad, but I have never heard of ten miles being the cut-off for such a status, if

The Cosmopolitan Railway

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In 1893, a footnote to the Book of the [Chicago World's] Fair stated, "The connection of the railroad systems of the world by way of Bering strait is by no means the chimerical project that some would have us believe, nor one that may not ere long be accomplished". 128 years later, such a link still has yet to come to fruition, nor will it in the near future. But that isn't to say that the idea is dead, far from it, and the project is now more technically feasible than ever, even if there would be countless environmental, economic and social issues to hammer out first.  Just five years ago, China began planning for a railway that would connect it to Russia, the United States and Canada via a 200 kilometer tunnel . Artistic rendition of the Bering Strait Railway Tunnel. From Bering Strait Tunnel Back on World Agenda! by Rachel Douglas, 21st Century Science & Technology, Spring/Summer 2007 Since a connection between North America and Asia has been in humanity'