Jun 112011
CGW f-engine

Tonight I spent my first night really diving into the data in my new Rand McNally Enlarged Business Atlas from 1903. What a great book! With it’s help, I can now see that I had much of the CGW segment from Oelwein to Dubuque on the wrong path. In the process of fixing it, I found the tunnel in East Dubuque that had escaped me for some time. I also found there were several stops listed in the book that were not in the schedule I had from the 1950s.

I spent several hours putting in all the changes including many on the Minneapolis branch… then Google Earth quit on me. I thought it was saving as I went, but I lost two hours of work. Ah well. It was much faster the second time.

My goal is to get all of the Chicago Great Western charted out to the 1903 standards before updating much of anything else. I can tell you that there is no way I’ll be able to put this level of detail into every line nation wide…. not for many years.


Jun 082011
Blueprint of Oelwein Shop

Blueprint of Oelwein ShopThe idea of becoming a railroad “archeologist” holds both great appeal as well as shows great lunacy. There are just so many railroads, interurbans, and more in history. Do I map current lines and what they used to be? How do I account for all the mergers? How do I show how a line changed in ownership? Where do I start? It’s all overwhelming given our rich rail history.

I’ve decided to start simply. I’ll start with what I have and branch out from there. That means I’ll be mapping:

1) a variety of Chicago Great Western (CGW) details given to me by the Hub City Railroad museum this includes track diagrams, photos, etc.

2) Some of the research I have on Chicago’s North Shore line, and

3) As much detail as I can from my newest source, the 1903 Rand McNally Enlarged Shipper’s guide with it’s maps of every state and most countries. Yes, I’m looking at ways to scan the maps and post them here… For free. Yes, I know people sell those maps but I think lack of access is stifling historical research.

So, that’s the plan. I’ll make maps of what I have and figure out the rest as I go.

– Mike

Jun 052011
Soo Caboose in Schaumburg

Soo Caboose in SchaumburgFor those who have been on the site before, you might have noticed some “slight” changes. You know, I deleted my old stuff and started again. Don’t Worry, it’s still about mapping trains and their old routes.

Please give me some time to bring in all the old data and to turn on the maps. I’m working on it!


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