Railroad History

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Railroad History

Railroad history is the root of our hobby. What has happened to railroads in the past as well as the history that is being made even now inspires and influences what model railroaders do. Even if we freelance a railroad, it is always based on some prototype somewhere or a mixture of prototypes.

This section of Building Your Model Railroad contains a series of articles relating to the history of railroading. Hopefully, it will serve as a starting point or an early research tool to give you ideas about what type of railroad you may want to model.

These articles are in no way intended to be a complete history of the railroads discussed. Each one is more like an overview to give you the flavor or the essence of the railroad, what its purpose was/is and the era in which it operated. References are given if you wish to delve deeper into each topic.

The first article in the series is The Virginian Railway, one of my personal favorites, particularly since I live in Virginia and love to visit and model the Appalachian scenery.

Others will appear here as they are written.


The Virginian Railway

The Norfolk and Western Railroad

The Pennsylvania Railroad

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway

The Seaboard Railroad Station in Suffolk, VA


I hope you will enjoy this section of the website as much as I enjoy writing about it.

By the way, if you have any personal knowledge of railroad history that you would like to include in this section, please click here to let us know.


Here are some Railroad History books that you might like...

American Railroad History






Railroad History from Around the World...


British Railway History - The history of the British railway system will practically reflect the evolution of the rail transportation system. The system also reveals the impact, it experienced, of changing times and trends of the socio-economic political scenario.







Another great resource to learn about Railroad History...

The National Railway Historical Society (U.S.)



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