Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946

A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946

Volume 1: The Mid-Atlantic States

Richard C. Carpenter

Volume
Volume 1
Publication Date
Binding Type

A pair of gleaming rails embedded in a farmhouse driveway. A wooded cycling trail that traces an oddly level path through suburban hills. An abandoned high fill that briefly parallels the interstate. Today, little remains of the vast network of passenger and freight railroad lines that once crisscrossed much of eastern and midwestern America. But in 1946, the steam locomotive was king, the automobile was just beginning to emerge from wartime restrictions, passenger trains still made stops in nearly every town, and freight trains carried most of the nation's intercity commerce.

In A Railroad...

A pair of gleaming rails embedded in a farmhouse driveway. A wooded cycling trail that traces an oddly level path through suburban hills. An abandoned high fill that briefly parallels the interstate. Today, little remains of the vast network of passenger and freight railroad lines that once crisscrossed much of eastern and midwestern America. But in 1946, the steam locomotive was king, the automobile was just beginning to emerge from wartime restrictions, passenger trains still made stops in nearly every town, and freight trains carried most of the nation's intercity commerce.

In A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946, Richard C. Carpenter provides a unique record of this not-so-distant time, when traveling out of town meant, for most Americans, taking the train. The first volume of this multivolume series covers the mid-Atlantic states and includes detailed maps of every passenger railroad line in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. When completed, the series will provide a comprehensive atlas of the U.S. railroad system at its post-World War II high point—a transportation network that many considered the finest railroad passenger system in the world.

Meticulously crafted and rich in detail, these hand-drawn color maps reveal with skilled precision—at a scale of 1 inch to 4 miles (or 1:250,000)—the various main and branch railroad passenger and freight lines that served thousands of American towns. The maps also include such features as long-since-demolished steam locomotive and manual signal tower installations, towns that functioned solely as places where crews changed over, track pans, coaling stations, and other rail-specific sites.

Currently, there exists no comprehensive, historic railroad atlas for the U.S. This volume, with its 202 full-scale and detail maps, is sure to remain the standard reference work for years to come, as will the others to follow in the series.

Reviews

Reviews

A labor of love... nothing short of a miracle. I looked at it again last night, and it took my breath away. It's the kind of work that only a gang of monks would consider undertaking. It really is fabulous.

In this first of several volumes, Carpenter looks at the Mid-Atlantic states with painstakingly drawn quadrant maps showing station names, mileposts, interlocking stations, coaling stations, track pans, tunnels, viaducts, and bridges... An enthusiast can cross-reference locations to visit even if the rails themselves are pulled up.

Surely one of the most appealingly eccentric publishing ventures of the year.

The year 1946 was, in short, a pinnacle of American railroading, as Dick Carpenter '55 notes in his new book, A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946 Volume 1: The Mid-Atlantic States, which sets out, with admirable directness and startling scope, to map every aspect of railroading in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

This is a fascinating volume for the railroad buff, those interested in the interrelationship of railroads and American history, or those merely investigating the bridge or tunnel in their town from what is now a ghost railroad.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
8.5
x
11
Pages
328
ISBN
9780801873317
Illustration Description
202 maps
Table of Contents

Introduction
How to Use This Atlas
Acknowledgments
THE ATLAS
Key Map
Map Symbols and Abbreviations
The Maps
Appendix: List of Railroads in the Atlas
Notes on the Maps
References
Indexes
Coaling Stations
Interloc

Introduction
How to Use This Atlas
Acknowledgments
THE ATLAS
Key Map
Map Symbols and Abbreviations
The Maps
Appendix: List of Railroads in the Atlas
Notes on the Maps
References
Indexes
Coaling Stations
Interlocking Stations and Former Interlocking Stations
Passenger and Non-Passenger Stations
Track Plans
Tunnels
Viaducts

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Richard C. Carpenter

Richard C. Carpenter is the retired executive director of the South Western Regional Planning Agency in Connecticut.