Spirit of America Bookstore

America's  Shortline  Railroads

Railroad Film Festival Pages

Arizona Railroads Page
California Railroads Pages
Colorado Railroads Pages
Nevada Railroads Page
New Mexico Railroads Page
Utah Railroads Page
Canada Railroads Page

'Railroads in Fiction' Pages

'Non-Fiction Books
About Railroads' Pages

U.S.A. Railroad Museums Page

      Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive #478 hauling a passenger train behind the Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado       short history

links

shortline railroads

shortline operators

shortlines by state
AK • AZ • CA • FL • IA •
OR • PA • SC • VA • WV •
Canada • foreign heritage RRs

books & other media


“People on a jet have only been on a trip; people on a train have been on a journey.”
Ray Bradbury [1920-2012]

“There isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going.”
— Edna St. Vincent Millay [1892-1950]


          short history
          t e x t
          h e r e
1980 Staggers Act deregulates railroads. Class I Railroads begin to create short line opportunities.
The Chicago School thinkers—so named because many of its members taught at the University of Chicago—found their champion in Ronald Reagan, who brought their theories with him into the White House in 1981. Almost as soon as Reagan’s team took power, they made clear that one of their very first targets would be the antitrust laws. William F. Baxter, the head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division under Reagan, announced his intentions to "pursue an antitrust policy based on efficiency considerations." Reagan announced that his admin'n would refrain from enforcing anti-trust laws. Beginning in Reagan’s first term, antitrust enforcement all but ended By the time Reagan left office, laissez faire had become conventional wisdom.

"Short line railroads account for 541 out of the nation's 550 railroads, 36 percent of the route miles, 11 percent of those employed on a railroad,
and 9 percent of the rail industry's revenue." — Bill Loftus, president of the American Short Line Railroad Assn., circa 1996

Railroad  Links
Rails USA - rail site directory
Narrow Gauge Preservation Foundation [est. 2000]
Assn. of Train Operating Companies [est. 1993] of U.K.
North American Railway Foundation [est. 1996]

G.E. Nordell's Colorado Travel / Railroads Links Pages
G.E. Nordell's Nevada Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's New Mexico Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's Utah Travel / Railroads Links Page

Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroad Equipment Pages

America's Shortline Railroads Page


Class  I  Railroads
The seven Class I railroads of America are a monopoly: their combined sales revenue is 91% of all U.S. rail freight traffic.
The U.S. railroad industry took in over $69 billion in 2012.

Class I Railroads Section on the main Railroads Page

Class  II  Railroads
These are mid-sized, mostly freight-hauling railroads, with operating revenue (as-of 2011) greater than $37.4 million but less than
$433.2 million for at least three consecutive years; switching & terminal railroads are excluded from Class II status.

Class II Railroads Section on the main Railroads Page

Class  III  Railroads
These are mostly freight-hauling railroads, with operating revenue less than $37.4 million for at least three consecutive years; Class III railroads include
lines serving just a few towns or just one customer or commodity, switching & terminal railroads, and tourist or heritage passenger lines.

U.S.A. Shortline  Railroads

American Short Line & Regional Railroad Assn. [est. 1913]
American Short Line & Regional Railroad Database
Trains Magazine's Regional & Short Line Railroad Directory
U.P. Railroad's Short Line Railroad Directory
Norfolk Southern Railroad directory of shortlines (by state)
Tourist Railways Information Center website got hacked {2017}
T.R.A.In. - Tourist Railway Assn., Inc.
U.P. Railroad Shortline Railroad Profiles for the USA

list of railroad museums & tourist lines in U.S.A. at Wikipedia
list of 3-foot 6-inch gauge railways in U.S.A. at Wikipedia
list of 3-foot gauge railways in U.S.A. at Wikipedia
list of 2-foot 6-inch gauge railways (including U.S.A.) at Wikipedia
list of 2-foot gauge railways in U.S.A. at Wikipedia

Operators  of  Shortline  Railroads
The Blanchard Company - marketing & management
G.E. Transportation / RailConnect 360 [est. 1979]
RailConnect services division of G.E. / Railcar Management, Inc.
Rail, Inc. management & systems services for rail carriers [est. 1999] based in North Carolina

            

Walt Disney's Parks & Railroads
Walt Disney [1901-66] had a large-scale live steam railroad at his home in Beverly Hills, California from 1950 or so; the 5/8-scale railroad at Disneyland California
circled the park from the beginning. Each of the other Disneyland & Disney World parks also have human-sized railroads, as well as the smaller mine train rides.

Walt Disney Pictures Page / Parks & Resorts Section
at Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

'Rail Transport in Disney Parks entry at Wikipedia
Disneyland California Railroad entry at Wikipedia
Disneyland Paris Railroad entry at Wikipedia
Disneyland Hong Kong Railroad entry at Wikipedia
Disney World Railroad entry at Wikipedia
Shanghai Disney Resort is slated to open in 2016; railroad plans unknown.

"Walt Disney's Backyard Railroad" 3/2009 video with narration [7:37] at YouTube

Walt Disney's Railroad Story book by Michael Broggie  "Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That
Led To A Full-Scale Kingdom" [1997] by Michael Broggie

Pentrex 2nd edition 9x6½ hardcover [10/98] out of print/used
Pentrex 1st edition 12½x10 hardcover [9/97] out of print/used
Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad book by Steve DeGaetano  "Welcome Aboard The Disneyland Railroad!: The Complete
Disneyland Railroad Reference Guide" [2004]
by Steve DeGaetano, Illustrations by Preston Nirattasai

Steam Passages Publns 11x8½ hardcover [12/2004] out of print/used
Wonderful World of Disney Trains book by Dana Amendola  "All Aboard: The Wonderful World of Disney Trains" [2015]  9/2015
by Dana Amendola, Foreword by John Lasseter

Disney Editions Deluxe 11½x10½ hardcover [9/2015] for $33.90


Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. [est. 1899] operates over 100 shortline railroads    
Australian Railroad Group is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming    
Atlas Railroad Construction [est. 1954] subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming    
Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. [est. 1899] is based in Connecticut & Florida
official website • G&W entry at Wikipedia

Genesee & Wyoming operates 116 regional & short line railroads in 39 states and 4 Canadian provinces - plus Europe and Australia - for a total of over 15,000 miles of owned and leased track. Recent acquisitions include: the 14 properties of Rail Management Corp. (2005) for $244.7 million; the 47 U.S. & Canadian properties of RailAmerica, Inc. (2012) for $1.39 billion; 3 Arkansas properties from Pinsly (12/2014) for $40 million.

Important subsidiaries include: Atlas Railroad Construction [est. 1954]; Emons Railroad Group [est. 1987, purch 2002]; Genesee & Wyoming Australia [est. 2006]; Genesee & Wyoming Canada, Inc. [est. 1997]; CAGY Industries [purch 2008]; Ohio Central [est. 1988, purch 2008] which operates 10 shortlines; and Rail Link, Inc. which operates 26 switching railroads.


Gulf and Ohio Railways [est. 1985]    Gulf and Ohio Railways, Inc. [est. 1985] is based in Knoxville, Tennessee
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Gulf and Ohio Railways operates four shortline railroads over 225 miles of track, plus a steam-powered tourist train, and a diesel locomotive leasing & repair service. Many former holdings were sold off; the remaining freight lines are: 19-mile Knoxville & Holston River RR [est. 1998] in TN; 60-mile Lancaster & Chester Rwy [est. 1896] in NC; 28-mile Laurinburg & Southern RR [est. 1909, purch 1994] in NC; and 93-mile Yadkin Valley RR [est. 1989] in NC. The Three Rivers Rambler steam-powered tourist operation travels over roughly 12 miles of the K&HR RR from Knoxville to Marbledale in Tennessee.


Iowa Pacific Holding Company [est. 2001] operates 15 shortline freight and-or passenger railroads     Iowa Pacific Holding Company [est. 2001] is based in Chicago, Illinois
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Iowa Pacific operates a Freight Division {Permian Basin Railways} – Chicago Terminal RR, Mass Coastal RR, Rusk Palestine & Pacific RR in Texas, Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway, Texas-New Mexico RR, and West Texas & Lubbock Railway – and a Passenger Division – Cape Cod Central RR, High Iron Rail Excursions, Pullman Rail Journeys, Rio Grande Scenic RR in Colorado, Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway, Saratoga & North Creek Railway in New York, and Texas State RR – while handling both freight traffic & regular passenger service on Mt. Hood RR in Oregon and San Luis & Rio Grande RR in Colorado.


no logo found for Iron Road Railways    Iron Road Railways [1994-2003] was based in Alexandria, Virginia and Livonia, Michigan
no official website • entry at Wikipedia

Iron Road Railways was a railroad holding company formed in July 1994; they acquired several shortline railroads, then went bankrupt in 2002; sold off properties in 2003. Subsidiaries included 420-mile Bangor & Aroostook RR [1891-2003], 372-mile Canadian American RR [1994-merger 2002], 163-mile Iowa Northern Rwy [est. 1980], 86-mile Northern Vermont RR [1996-merger 2002], Quebec Southern Rwy [1996-merger 2002], 7-mile Van Buren Bridge & Construction Co. [1994-merger 2002], and 54-mile Windsor & Hantsport Rwy [est. 1994]. (The 2002 merger of CAR, NVR, QSR & VBB&C formed the 481-mile Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway which has gone bankrupt due to a multi-million dollar accident in July 2013. W&HR and INR were sold off to executives.)


group logo for Iron Horse Resources, Inc. [est. 1990] and many subsidiaries    
logo for Iron Horse Trucking & Ironhorse Logistics subsidiaries    
Ironhorse Resources, Inc. [est. 1990] is based in O'Fallon, Illinois (near St. Louis, MO)
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Ironhorse Resources operates six shortline railroads, three transload facilities, and two trucking companies. I.H.R. announced in late 2014 the acquisition of 627 acres just east of Big Spring, Texas that will be developed under the name Big Spring Industrial Rail Park.
The six railroad lines are: 61-mile Caney Fork & Western RR [est. 1983] in Tennessee; 29-mile Gardendale RR [est. 2009] near Odessa, Texas; 1.25-mile Mississippi Tennessee RR [est. 2003, split 2011]; 73-mile Rio Valley Switching Co. [est. 1993] in South Texas; Santa Teresa Southern Railroad [est. 3/2012] in Southern New Mexico; and Southern Switching Company [est. 1997] in Abilene and Big Spring, Texas. The other companies are Border Transload & Transfer [est. 2001], I.H.R. Transport,; and I.H.R. Logistics [est. 2010]


logo for Midwest Pacific Railnet & Logistics [] in U.K.    Midwest Pacific Rail Net & Logistics [est. 1984]
based in Kansas City, Missouri, operates 8 shortline railroads in 7 states on 900 miles of track.
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Midwest Pacific Rail Net & Logistics subsidiaries include: Bountiful Grain & Craig Mountain RR in Idaho; 190-mile Dakota Southern Rwy [lease 10/2009]; Fremont Northern RR in Nebraska; 42-mile Iowa River RR [est. 6/2006]; Nevada Northern Rwy [built 1905; recent lease?:]; 27-mile Ozark Valley RR in Missouri; 71-mile St. Marie's River RR [est. 1980] in Idaho; and Washington & Idaho Rwy [lease 9/2006]; other services include railcar storage, railcar repair, and switching. (The McCloud Railway [built 1901] in California is referred to on the website but several pages are removed or missing.)


logo for Network Rail in U.K.    

logo for ticket seller National Rail in U.K.    

Network Rail [est. 2002] is based in London, U.K.
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Company was created to re-privatize Great Britain's government-owned railroads.
Network Rail controls 20,000 miles of track and 2,500 stations.
Subsidiaries include 25 passenger lines: Arriva Trains, Arriva Trains Wales, c2c (formerly London Tilbury & Southend Rwy), Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, Eurostar, First Great Western, First Scotrail, First TransPennine Express, Grand Central, Great Northern, Greater Anglia, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains, London Midland, London Overground, MerseyRail, Northern, South West Trains, Southeastern, Southern Railway, Thameslink Railway & Virgin Trains; eight freight companies: Colas Rail, Devon & Cornwall Railways, Direct Rail Services, D.B. Schenker, Europorte, Freightliner Group, GB Railfreight & Harsco; and ticket seller National Rail.


pseudo-logo for North American RailNet (cropped)    North American RailNet [1999-2005] was based in Texas
no official website • entry at Wikipedia

North American RailNet's six subsidiary shortlines were: 345-mile Alberta RailNet (sold to Savage Companies, then CN);
77-mile Camas Prairie RailNet (sold to Watco Companies, renamed 2004); 297-mile Georgia & Florida RailNet (sold to OmniTRAX); 113-mile Illinois RailNet (sold to OmniTRAX); 27-mile Mississippi and Tennessee RailNet (sold to Ironhorse Resources, then to Pioneer Railcorp & renamed); and 559-mile Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado RailNet (sold to OmniTRAX).


OmniTRAX [est. 1986] operates 18 regional & short line railroads    OmniTRAX [est. 1986] is based in Denver, Colorado
operates 18 regional & short line railroads in 12 states and 3 Canadian provinces,
plus Quality Terminal Services [est. 1994] at Alliance, Texas.
official website • entry at Wikipedia
OmniTRAX subsidiary shortline railroads are: 120-mile Alabama & Tennessee River Rwy [lease 2004] in Alabama; 24-mile Alliance Terminal RR in Texas; 131-mile Carlton Trail Rwy [est. 1997] in Saskatchewan, Canada; 72-mile Chicago Rail Link; 25-mile Fulton County Rwy [est. 2004] in Georgia; 297-mile Georgia & Florida Rwy [est. 1999, purch 2003]; 17.3-mile Georgia Woodlands RR [est. 1988]; 80-mile Great Western Rwy of Colorado [est. 1901]; 810-mile Hudson Bay Rwy [est. 1997] of Canada; 113-mile Illinois Rwy [est. 1997, purch 2005]; 170-mile Kettle Falls International Rwy [] in Washington State & British Columbia, Canada; 6-mile Manufacturers' Junction Rwy [est. 1903] in Illinois; 559-mile Nebraska Kansas Colorado Rwy [est. 1996, purch 2005]; 13-mile Newburgh & South Shore RR in Ohio; 21-mile Northern Ohio & Western Rwy; 31-mile Panhandle Northern RR in Texas; 32-mile Sand Springs Rwy [est. 1911] in Oklahoma; and 25-mile Stockton Terminal & Eastern RR [est. 1908] in California.


Patriot Rail Corp. [est. 2006] operates 12 railroads in 13 states    Patriot Rail Corp. [est. 2006] is based in Jacksonville, Florida
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Patriot Rail purchased six railroads from Weyerhaeuser in December 2010, so the total lines operated are now 12 shortlines in 13 states, as well as railcar repair and railcar storage services.
Patriot Rail's subsidiaries include: 63-mile Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway (BAP) in Montana • 14-mile Columbia & Cowlitz Railway (CLC) in southwest Washington ‡ • 50-mile DeQueen and Eastern Railroad (DQE) in southwest Arkansas † • 10-mile Golden Triangle Railroad (GTRA) in central Mississippi • 3-mile Kingman Terminal Railroad (KGTR) in Kingman, Arizona • 68-mile Louisiana and North West Railroad [LNW; est. 1889] in Louisiana & Arkansas • 23-mile Patriot Woods Railroad (PAW) in southwest Washington (‡ connects directly to the CLC) • 13-mile Piedmont & Northern Railway (PNRW) in North Carolina • 7-mile Sacramento Valley Railroad (SAV) at the McClellan Business Park near Sacramento, California • 10-mile Temple & Central Texas Railway (TC) in Temple, Texas • 149-mile Tennessee Southern Railroad (TSRR) in Tennessee & Alabama • 41-mile Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad (TOE) in southeast Oklahoma († connects directly with the DQE at the Arkansas border) • 34-mile Utah Central Railway (UCRY) in the Ogden, Utah area (The 22-mile Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad was shut down in 2008 and abandoned by new owner Patriot Rail in 2011; the land was donated for a rail trail.)


Pinsly Railroad Co. [est. 1938]     Pinsly Railroad Co. [est. 1938] is based in Westfield, Massachusetts
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Pinsly Railroad Co. sold off its Arkansas Region in December 2014 to Genesee & Wyoming, leaving four rail lines: the 68-mile Florida Central Railroad [est. 1986] operates north and west of Orlando; the 28-mile Florida Midland Railroad [est. 1987] operates two segments south and east of Winter Haven; the 104-mile Florida Northern Railroad [est. 1988] has two segments: the short one operates north and south of Ocala, the other is based in Newberry and connects to High Springs and to Crystal River; the Pioneer Valley Railroad [est. 1982] in western Massachussetts interchanges with CSXT in Westfield and operates branches to Holyoke and Southampton. Pinsly also operates the Railroad Distribution Services [est. 1985] transloading business with multiple locations in Florida & Massachusetts.


Pioneer Railcorp operates 18 railroads in 13 states with over 600 miles of track    

Napoleon, Defiance & Western RR herald    Georgia Southern Rwy herald    

Pioneer Railcorp [est. 1986] is based in Peoria, Illinois
operates 18 railroads in 13 states with over 600 miles of track.
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Pioneer Railcorp Services provides switching and railcar leasing, storage & repair services. The eighteen subsidiary shortline railroads are: 50-mile Alabama RR [purch 1991]; 38-mile Decatur Junction Rwy [est. 1993] in Illinois; 10-mile Elkhart & Western RR [est. 2001] in Indiana; 18-mile Fort Smith RR [est. 1991] in Arkansas; 40-mile Garden City Western Rwy [built 1915, purch 1999] in Kansas; 25-mile Gettysburg and Northern RR in Pennsylvania; 74-mile Georgia Southern Rwy; 3.8-mile Indiana Southwestern Rwy; 1-mile Kendallville Terminal Rwy in Indiana; 141½-mile Keokuk Junction Rwy [est. 1980] in Illinois & Iowa; 12-mile Michigan Southern RR; 51-mile Mississippi Central RR [purch 1993]; 53-mile Napoleon, Defiance & Western RR (formerly Maumee & Western RR) [purch 2012] in Indiana & Ohio; 8½-mile Pioneer Industrial Rwy [est. 1998] in Peoria, Illinois; 26½-mile Ripley & New Albany RR in Mississippi; 2½-mile Shawnee Terminal Rwy in Cairo, Illinois; 3½-mile Vandalia RR [est. 1984, purch 1993] in Illinois; and 4¼-mile West Michigan RR [est. 1995].
(The 86-mile Alabama & Florida Rwy [purch 1992] was abandoned in 2011 due to bridge failures.)

The Short Line Journal Magazine [est. 1984]
20-page magazine sent out six times per year


Rail Management Corp.    Rail Management Corp. [2001-2005] was based in Florida
no official website • entry at Wikipedia

14 shortline railroads purchased in 2005 for $244.7 million by Genesee & Western. The subsidiary shortlines were in 11 states: 96-mile AN Railway in Florida; 10-mile Atlantic & Western Railway [est. 1896] in North Carolina; 103-mile Bay Line RR [est. 1906] in Florida & Georgia; 61-mile Copper Basin Railway [built 1902-1904; sold by G&W in 2006] in Arizona; East Tennessee Railway; 32-mile Galveston RR [est. 1900] in Texas; 194-mile Georgia Central Railway; 69-mile Kentucky West Tennessee (KWT); 79-mile Little Rock & Western Railway [built 1900, est. 1980] in Arkansas; 189-mile Meridian & Bigbee RR [est. 1926] in Alabama & Mississippi; 6-mile Tomahawk Railway in Wisconsin; Valdosta Railway [est. 1992] in Georgia; Western Kentucky Railway [est. 1995, now part of KWT]; and Wilmington Terminal RR [est. 1986] in North Carolina.


RailWorld, Inc. [est. 1999] based in Illinois    Rail World, Inc. [est. 1999] is based in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Rail World has sold off most of its assets in anticipation of going bankrupt from the multi-death rail accident at
Lac-Mιgantic, Quebec, Canada in July 2013 – exloding railroad chemical tank cars obliterated the town, leaving 47 people dead or missing. Current subsidiaries include: the asset-stripped Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway [2002-2014]; San Luis Central Railroad [built 1913] in Colorado; Rail World Locomotive Leasing [est. 2001]; and investments in Rail Polska [est. 1999], AS Baltic Rail [est. 2008], and Rail Ukraine [est. 2009].


logo for RailAmerica, Inc. [1986-2012]    RailAmerica, Inc. [1986-2012]
operated 47 shortline railroads in the U.S. & Canada
G&W official redirect page • RailAmerica entry at Wikipedia

RailAmerica was purchased in 2012 by Genesee & Wyoming for $1.39 billion.
LT's unofficial RailAmerica fansite
RailAmerica's 47 subsidiaries were: Alabama & Gulf Coast Rwy; Arizona & California RR; Arizona Eastern Rwy; Bauxite & Northern Rwy; California Northern RR; Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Rwy; Carolina Piedmont RR; Cascade and Columbia River RR; Central Oregon & Pacific RR; Central Western Rwy; Central Railroad of Indiana; Central Railroad of Indianapolis; Chesapeake & Albemarle RR; Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern RR; Conecuh Valley Rwy; Connecticut Southern RR; Dakota Rail; Dallas, Garland & Northeastern RR; Eastern Alabama Rwy; Goderich-Exeter Rwy; Grand Rapids Eastern RR; Huron and Eastern Rwy; Indiana & Ohio Rwy; Indiana Southern RR; Kiamichi RR; Kyle RR; Marquette Rail; Massena Terminal RR; Michigan Shore RR; Mid-Michigan RR; Missouri & Northern Arkansas RR; New England Central RR; North Carolina & Virginia RR; Ottawa Valley Rwy; Otter Tail Valley RR; Point Comfort & Northern Rwy; Puget Sound & Pacific RR; Rockdale, Sandow & Southern RR; San Diego & Imperial Valley RR; San Joaquin Valley RR; Southern Ontario Rwy; South Carolina Central RR; Texas Northeastern RR; Toledo, Peoria & Western Rwy; Ventura County RR; Wellsboro & Corning RR; and Wiregrass Central Rwy

logo for RailTex, Inc. [1977-2000]    RailTex, Inc. [1977-2000]
operated 26 shortline railroads in the eastern U.S. & Canada & Mexico.
there is no official website • entry at Wikipedia

RailTex was purchased by RailAmerica in 2000 for $325 million, and most of the shortline railroads were absorbed by RailAmerica. (RailAmerica was in turn purchased by Genesee & Wyoming in 2012.)
A partial list of RailTex properties includes: Austin & Northwestern Railroad (purch 1986); Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad (purch 1994); Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (takeover 1997); Indiana & Ohio Railway (purch 1996); New England Central RR (purch 1995 as Vermont Central Railway); and San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad (takeover 1984). Subsidiary RailTex International Holdings, Inc. purchased almost 13 percent equity in the 4,400-mile Ferrovia Centro Atlantica SA railroad in Brasil in September 1996.
(The Mexican & Brasilian properties do not appear on G&W's website.)


R.J. Corman Railroad Group [est. 1973] operates 10 railroads in 8 states    R.J. Corman Railroad Group [est. 1973] operates ten railroads in eight states
and several other rail-related services; company is based in Kentucky
official website • entry at Wikipedia

R.J. Corman's rail subsidiaries include Allentown Lines (PA), Bardstown Line (KY), Central Kentucky Lines, Cleveland Line (OH), Memphis Line (KY & TN), Pennsylvania Lines, Tennessee Terminal (MS & TN), The Texas Line, Western Ohio Line (IN & OH), and West Virginia Line


Watco Transportation [est. 1983] operates 32 shortline railroads    Watco Transportation [est. 1983] is based in Pittsburg, Kansas
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Watco Transportation Services, LLC is one of four divisions of Watco Companies;
it operates 32 shortline railroads on 4,500 track miles in the U.S. and Australia.
The Watco shortline railroad subsidiaries are: 85-mile Alabama Southern RR (lease 2005); 15-mile Alabama Warrior Rwy (built 1895, acquired 8/2009); 50-mile Ann Arbor RR (est. 1988, purch 1/2013) in Michigan; 62-mile Arkansas Southern RR (10/2005) in Arkansas & Oklahoma; 155-mile Austin Western RR (10/2007) in Texas; 44-mile Autauga Northern RR (4/2011) in Alabama; 1½-mile Baton Rouge Southern RR (11/2008) in Louisiana; 1-mile Bogalusa Bayou RR (1/2015) in Louisiana; 76-mile Birmingham Terminal Rwy (2/2012) in Alabama; 93-mile Blue Ridge Southern RR (7/2014) in North Carolina; 36-mile Boise Valley RR (11/2009) in Idaho; 270-mile Eastern Idaho RR (ex-UP in 1993); 151-mile Grand Elk RR (3/2009) in Indiana & Michigan; 77-mile Great Northwest RR (former Camas Prairie RR 1909-2004, purch 3/2004) in Idaho; 840-mile Kansas & Oklahoma RR (7/2001); 85-mile Kansas City Terminal Rwy [est. 1906] in Kansas & Missouri is operated by Kaw River RR since 2006; 43-mile Kaw River RR (6/2004) in Kansas & Missouri; 157-mile Louisiana Southern RR (9/2005); 40-mile Mission Mountain RR (built in 1904, acq. 12/2004) in Montana; 28-mile Mississippi Southern RR (lease 4/2005); 62-mile Pacific Sun Railroad (BNSF lease 10/2008); 202-mile Palouse River & Coulee City RR (100-year lease 1992) in Washington & Oregon; 29-mile Pecos Valley Southern Rwy (2012) in Texas; 12-mile Pennsylvania Southwestern RR (4/2003); San Antonio Central Rwy (9/2012) in Texas; 511-mile South Kansas & Oklahoma RR (3/1987) in Kansas, Oklahoma & Missouri; 279-mile Stillwater Central RR (1998) in Oklahoma; 3¼-mile Swan Ranch RR (12/2011) at new industrial park in Cheyenne, Wyoming; 168-mile Timber Rock RR (1998) in Texas & Louisiana; 21-mile Vicksburg Southern RR (built 1884, leased 1/2006); 700-mile Wisconsin & Southern RR [est. 1980; purch 1/2012] in Wisconsin & Illinois; and 172-mile Yellowstone Valley RR (built 1911-1915, BNSF lease 8/2005) in Montana & North Dakota.
Watco Western Australia has a ten-year contract (5/2012) to manage the railroad operations of grain cooperative C.B.H. Group [est. 1933].


The Western Group [est. 1989] is based in Utah    
Western Railroad Builders [est. 1972] is based in Utah    
The Western Group [est. 1989] is based in Ogden, Utah
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

David L. Durbano's The Western Group operates five shortline railroads and a railroad construction company. The railroads are: 245-mile Cimarron Valley Railroad [built 1912, purchased 1996] in Oklahoma, Colorado & Kansas; 37.8-mile Clarkdale Arizona Central Railroad [built 1912, reopened 1989]; 27-mile Oregon Eastern Railroad {formerly a division of WYCO}; 53-mile Southwestern Railroad [built 1881, purchased 1990] in New Mexico; and 20-mile Verde Canyon Railroad tourist line [est. 1990] which runs over the Clarkdale Arizona Central. (The Wyoming-Colorado Railroad shut down circa 2006.)
Railroad construction company Western Railroad Builders [est. 1972] is based in Ogden, Utah.


U.S.A.  Shortline  Railroads  Today  -  by  state
list of Class III railroads by state at Wikipedia
list of active narrow-gauge tourist railroads
Union Pacific Railroad's Short Line Railroad Profiles By State
list of U.S. heritage railroads at Wikipedia

AK • AZ • CA • FL • IA • OR • PA • SC • VA • WV


Alaska
logo of the White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railroad that runs from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railroad [1898-1982; reopened 1988]
official website • Wikipedia
White Pass & Yukon relics photos

White Pass & Yukon Route Pictorial History book by Stan B. Cohen  "The White Pass and Yukon Route: A Pictorial History" [1980]
by Stan B. Cohen

Pictorial Histories Publng Co. 10¾x8¼ pb [3/80] out of print/many used


Arizona
Verde Canyon Railroad [est. 1911] out of Clarkdale, Arizona
Arizona Eastern Narrow-Gauge Railway from Miami/Globe, AZ to Bowie, AZ [est. 1899]
Copper Spike Railway in Globe, Arizona
Grand Canyon Railway & Resort in Northern Arizona


California
G.E. Nordell's California Travel / Railroads Page

Carson & Colorado / Nevada & California / Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Railroads [1880-1960] Page

Sierra Railway in California [est. 1897] Page

logo of The Skunk Train that runs from Willits, California to Ft. Bragg, California
California Western Railroad 'Skunk Train' = Willits to Fort Bragg [built 1885]

Fillmore & Western Railway in Ventura County, California
Pacific Locomotive Assn. / Niles Canyon Railway [est. 1987] in Fremont, California
Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, California [Santa Cruz County; est. 1963]
San Francisco [CA] Municipal Railway [est. 1912]
Yosemite Mtn. Sugar Pine Railroad [logger train April thru October] in California
Yreka Western Railroad [est. 1887] in NW California

Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad book by Steve DeGaetano  "Welcome Aboard The Disneyland Railroad!: The Complete
Disneyland Railroad Reference Guide" [2004]
by Steve DeGaetano, Illustrations by Preston Nirattasai

Steam Passages Publns 11x8½ hardcover [12/2004] out of print/used


Colorado
G.E. Nordell's Colorado Travel / Railroads Pages

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [est. 1970] in New Mexico & Colorado


Connecticut

Essex Steam Train [est. 1871, re-opened 1971] in River Valley, CT
Friends of The Valley Railroad


Delaware

Wilmington & Western Railroad [est. 1966] operating RR museum in Wilmington, Delaware
roster includes 3 steam locomotives, 2 diesels, 1929 doodlebug, 7 passenger cars (in service), 3 cabeese, other railcars


Florida

Serengeti Express Railway [est. 1971] at Busch Gardens Tampa [open 1959]
This train takes guests on a two-mile ride around the 335-acre park with stops at the Congo-Kinshasa, Stanleyville, and Nairobi area stations.
unofficial Park Fans website forums • park entry at Wikipedia

green-yellow African-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #4 [built 1971]

yellow American-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #5 [built 1971]

red-yellow African-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #9 [built 1971]

green American-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #601 [built 1974]


Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific in Hawai'i


Whitewater Valley Railroad operating railroad museum [est. 1972], east of Indianapolis, Indiana


Iowa

herald/logo for Iowa Northern Railway Co.         logo for Hawkeye Express game train [est. 2004]        logo/banner for Trains On The Farm museum in Iowa
Iowa Northern Railway Company [est. 1980] is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (reporting mark IANR)
Formed in 1980 from assets of the Rock Island Line; sold in July 1994 to Iron Road Railways, which went bankrupt in 2002; taken over by president Daniel Sabin. Headquarters is at the Paramount Theatre Building in Cedar Rapids; also offices, shops, and yard facilities in Manly, Greene, and Waterloo. Operates the Hawkeye Express game train [est. 2004], mostly during football season, and the Trains On The Farm museum near Clarksville, Iowa.
official website • Daniel R. Sabin, President • entry at Wikipedia
Iowa Northern Railway Company [est. 1984], 305 Second Street SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hawkeye Express game train [est. 2004] for the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium
official website • watch promo video [3:54] at YouTube

Trains On The Farm [], 30215 170th Street near Clarksville, Iowa 50619
by appointment only • official website
owns/operates Rock Island diesel #678


Terminal Railroad Association [est. 1889] of St Louis, Missouri
Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis Historical & Technical Society


New Mexico
G.E. Nordell's New Mexico Travel / Railroads Page

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [est. 1970] in New Mexico & Colorado


Nevada
G.E. Nordell's Nevada Travel / Railroads Page

Carson & Colorado / Nevada & California / Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Railroads [1880-1960] Page

Virginia & Truckee Railroad [1869-1950, rebuilt 1972 & 2006] in Nevada


North Carolina
Railway Association of North Carolina

narrow-gauge Tweetsie Railroad [est. 1957] between Boone & Blowing Rock in North Carolina
theme park open May thru October; locomotives 4-6-0 #12 (1917) and 2-8-2 #190 (1943) are coal-fired


Oregon
Mount Hood Railroad [est. 1906] in Hood River, Oregon
Oregon Pacific Railroad [est. 1987] in Portland, Oregon

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
photo of Oregon Coast Scenic RR Heisler-geared locomotive #2 [built 1910]

GOLD STAR: train rides on Saturdays (see schedule); very willing to work with movie/TV location filming  Oregon Pacific Railroad [est. 1991] - two locations in Oregon
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Sumpter Valley Railway logging saw logo
Sumpter Valley Railway narrow gauge [est. 1971] in North Central Oregon
official website • entry at Wikipedia
photo of Sumpter Valley Heisler-geared locomotive #3 [built 1915]
video of Sumpter Valley Heisler-geared locomotive #3 [10:00] online at YouTube


Pennsylvania
Strasburg Rail Road [est. 1832; saved/rebuilt 1958] in Lancaster, PA
New Hope & Ivyland Rail Road [est. 1962] of New Hope, PA
Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad [est. 1963] in Kempton (Berks County), Pennsylvania - aka the 'Hawk Mountain Line'

narrow gauge East Broad Top Railroad [est. 1872; saved 1960; on hiatus since 2012] of Rockhill Furnace, PA
official website • Unofficial E.B.T. Homepage {last update 2007} • entry at Wikipedia
Friends of the East Broad Top Railroad [est.1983]


South Carolina

herald for Lancaster & Chester Railroad [est. 1971] in South Carolina
Lancaster & Chester Railroad [est. 1971] in South Carolina
Formed in 1896 by Colonel Leroy Springs and others, in part to serve his textile mills. The survival of the railroad was quite a struggle. The Colonel died in 1931, leaving his empire to his son Elliott White Springs. Elliott loved the rail line and had fun with it: he bought a private railcar and built a Rolls Royce inspection car, devised a fanciful dining car menu (the L&C had no dining car), and appointed 29 vice presidents that included artist James Montgomery Flagg, radio man Lowell Thomas, and train fans Gypsy Rose Lee & Lucius Beebe. The line converted to diesel early (six ex-U.S. Army 65-ton Whitcombs in 1946). Elliott Springs died in 1959 and son-in-law H.W. Close became president of the mills and of the L&C; the railroad connects to both CSX and Norfolk Southern. Bob Willetts began a passenger car restoration program in Lancaster & Hartsville in 1996. The L&C was purchased in November 2010 by holding company Gulf & Ohio Railways {see above}.
official website • entry at Wikipedia


Tennessee

Heritage Railroad [est. 1997] in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Heritage Railroad [est. 1997] in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Dollywood [est. 1961, renamed 1986] near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
operates two coal-fired narrow-gauge 2-8-2 locomotives (#70 1938, #192 1943), plus theme park

Three Rivers Rambler steam-powered tourist operation [] travels over roughly 12 miles of the K&HR RR
from Knoxville to Marbledale in Tennessee.


Texas

Grapevine [TX] Vintage Railroad
21-mile line; 1896 steam engine {under repair since 2008} & 1953 GP-7 diesel;
closed Jan-Feb, otherwise operates weekends only (also Friday June-August)


Utah
G.E. Nordell's Utah Travel / Railroads Page


Virginia

Bay Coast Railroad [est. 2007] at Cape Charles, VA

The Busch Gardens Railway at the Europe-themed Busch Gardens Park [open 1975] in Williamsburg, Virginia.
the propane-fired railroad is a scaled-down 3-foot-gauge 7,900-foot circle around the park, with stops at three stations
watch 8/2014 fast-motion amateur video over entire route [2:22] at YouTube
unofficial Park Fans website forums • park entry at Wikipedia

green American-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #17 'Alpen Express' with matching 4-car train & caboose [built 1972]
watch 9/2015 amateur video [30:52] online at YouTube

red/orange Prussian-style 4-4-0 steam locomotive #238 'Der Hochbeinige' with matching 6-car train [built 1975]
watch 4/2016 amateur video with polka music [19:39] online at YouTube

blue Scottish Caledonian Railway steam locomotive #661 'Balmoral Castle' with matching 6-car train [built 1975]
watch 3/2016 amateur video [16:50] online at YouTube


Vermont
Green Mountain Railroad [est. 1964] in Bellows Falls, VT


Washington  state

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum [est. 1986] in Chehalis, WA

Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad [est. 1981] in Southwestern Washington State
Hillcrest Lumber Co. Climax-geared locomotive #10 [built 1928] at Mt. Rainier Scenic RR


West Virginia

Cass Scenic Railroad [built 1900; incorp. 1961] in West Virginia
Cass Scenic Railroad [built 1900; incorp. 1961] State Park in West Virginia
official website • entry at Wikipedia


route map of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [built 1880; incorp. 1974]
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [built 1880; incorp. 1974] - owned by New Mexico & Colorado
official website • entry at Wikipedia
Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad [est. 1974]

more details on the C&TS Railroad (history, loco roster, route, books & videos, photos}
are on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Page


C a n a d a

G.E. Nordell's Canada Travel / Railroad Links Page

Prairie Dog Central Railway [est. 1968] near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

herald for Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions [est. ??] in Alberta, Canada
Based in Stettler, Alberta; operates most of the year, with steam power in the Summer; trains travel 22½ miles to Big Valley, meal included.
Trains are pulled by 1920 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive #41 (ex-Mississippian Railway #77), 1944 Montreal Locomotive Works
Mountain Class 4-8-2 steam locomotive #6060
, or 1958 General Motors SW-1200 diesel switcher #1259.
official website • entry at Wikipedia
Alberta Prairie Wagon Train Excursions

                                            

Foreign Heritage Railroads
West Somerset Railway [est. 1862, reopened 1976] in western England
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust Ltd. in U.K.
Llangollen Railway heritage line in North Wales
The Scottish Railway Preservation Society (Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway)
INFO: famous for being the filming location for the 1970 film 'The Railway Children'  Keighley and Worth Valley Railway [1867-1962, preserved 1968 in West Yorkshire, England
INFO: famous for being the filming location for the 2000 TV movie 'The Railway Children'  Bluebell Railway [L&EGR 1877-1958, preserved 1960] in West Sussex, England

Nilgiri Mountain Railway {World Heritage Site} in India

Oigawa Railway [est. 1927] in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
website in Japanese • English-language info webpage • entry at Wikipedia

Books  &  Other  Media

American Shortline Railway Guide  "American Shortline Railway Guide: A Directory of Today's Diverse Small & Medium-Size Railroads - Facts, Figures & Locomotive Rosters For Over 500 Short Lines" [1996] by Edward A. Lewis
Kalmbach 5th edition pb [5/96] for $18.12
Light Iron Digest Magazine  Light Iron Digest Magazine [bi-monthly; est. 1999]
'For The Narrow Gauge, Industrial & Shortline Enthusiast'
magazine official website
direct subscription: 6 issues/year for $26.00
Guide To Tourist Railroads & Museums  "Tourist Trains 2006: 41st Annual Guide To Tourist Railroads & Museums" [2006] from Empire State Railway Museum
Kalmbach Books 8½x5½ pb [3/2006] out of print/used
Tourist Trains Guidebook from Trains Magazine  "Tourist Trains Guidebook" [2007, rev 2017] from The Editors of Trains Magazine
Describes 500 of the most popular train attractions, museums, and railroad vacation destinations in the U.S. and Canada, with over 200 of the most popular sites detailed in full-page reviews
Kalmbach Publng 6th edition 8¼x5½ pb [5/2017] for $15.63
Kalmbach Publng 5th edition 8¼x5½ pb [5/2015] for $15.63
Kalmbach Publng 4th edition 8½x5½ pb [4/2013] for $11.80

21 Train Rides Into The Past book by Don Baumgart  "21 Train Rides Into The Past" [2014] by Don Baumgart
CreateSpace 8x5 pb [2/2014] for $11.69
Describes visits to 21 U.S.A. heritage railroads — in Alaska & Canada: the White Pass & Yukon Route; in Arizona: the Grand Canyon Railway, and the Verde Canyon RR; in California: the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Gauge RR, the Napa Valley Wine Train, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine RR, and the California Western RR 'Skunk Train'; in Colorado: the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge RR, Manitou & Pike's Peak Cog Railway, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern RR, and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR (in Colorado & New Mexico); in Nevada: the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, and the Virginia & Truckee RR; in Washington State: the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway; plus topic/chapters about 'America's Orient Express', electric trains, movie trains, Idaho trains, dam-building, and Promontory Point

The Short Line Journal Magazine [est. 1984] subscription
The Short Line Journal
Magazine

20-page magazine sent out
six times per year

magazine website

Classic Trains Magazine from Kalmback Publications
Classic Trains
Magazine

subscribe at Amazon
4 issues/year for $24.95

subscribe on Kindle at Amazon
for $1.96/qtr

magazine website

Railfan & Railroad Magazine from Carstens Publishing
Railfan & Railroad
Magazine

magazine website

Trains Magazine [est. 1940] from Kalmback Publications
Trains
Magazine

subscribe at Amazon
12 issues/year for $42.95

subscribe on Kindle at Amazon
12 issues/year for $3.58/month

magazine website

here on the America's Shortline Railroads Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of page • short history • links • Class III / shortline railroads • shortline operators •

shortlines by state • books & other media

            

Spirit of America Bookstore's American Railroads Pages

on page one:  top of page • links • museums • Class I railroads • Class II railroads • shortline railroads

on page two:  top of page • games • RR history • narrow-gauge RRs • historic RR lines

on page three:  top of page • transcontinental railroads • railroad moguls • railroad recordings

Spirit of America Bookstore's 'Railroads in Fiction' Pages
Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroads in Fiction - Books For Young Railfans Page

Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroad Film Festival Pages

Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroad Equipment Pages

America's Shortline Railroads Page

Spirit of America Bookstore's Scale Model & Toy Trains Page


G.E. Nordell's California Travel / Railroads Links Pages
G.E. Nordell's Colorado Travel / Railroads Links Pages
G.E. Nordell's Nevada Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's New Mexico Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's Utah Travel / Railroads Links Page

Travel U.S.A. / Railroad Museums Page

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