Railroads have played an important part in the growth and development of America, both geographically and economically. Because of this, there has been significant publishing in the railroad area.
This guide is intended as an entry point for doing historical railroad research using the resources of Library of Congress. The Library's collection has many publications that researchers would find useful for such research. Many of the sources are print based, but we have included digital collections from American Memory and databases the Library subscribes to that could be helpful.
Also included are a few links to United States government sites and large research collections with an Internet presence that may assist researchers.
Issue 19/20: Spring 2014
Updated: Spring 2018
RAILROADS: Historical Research Sources at the Library of Congress
Table of Contents
Cost of Operations
Finance & Revenue
Wages & Compensation
Maps and Time Tables
Accidents and Safety
The Transcontinental Railroad
LC Subject Headings
Caption (image left):
Steam engine of the Grand Canyon Railroad.
Carol Highsmith, photographer.
Carol M. Highsmith Archive
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-15602
While some of the sources included cover countries other than the United States, this guide is intended for American railroads. Due to the sheer number of individual companies and rail lines, this guide is not intended to provide detailed company by company information. However, we have included a bit of information on the larger and/or still extant lines, and there is much information on individual lines/companies within the collection.
If you have any further questions, please Ask A Librarian.
Business Reference Specialist
Last updated: May 18, 2018