December 31, 2008
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v2.1 Reference

A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946, Volume 3

Volume 3: Indiana, Lower Michigan, and Ohio

A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946 recalls an era when steam locomotives were still king and passenger trains stopped at nearly every town in America. Railroad companies employed over a million workers, on the trains and along the tracks. Everything moved by rail: travelers, mail, and freight—whether a massive electric generator or a child's bicycle.

Richard C. Carpenter's hand-drawn color maps recapture the precise details: the various trunk and ancillary railroad passenger lines that served thousands of towns; long-since demolished steam locomotive and manual signal tower installations; towns that functioned solely as places where crews changed over; track pans; coaling stations; tunnels; bridges and viaducts; and other rail-specific sites.

The third and largest volume in this acclaimed series includes 276 maps and drawings and focuses on Indiana, Lower Michigan, and Ohio. These states could be called the crossroads of the national railroad network, where east-west transcontinental lines crossed north-south inter-regional lines. Carpenter depicts the major rail centers of Indianapolis, Gary, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Chicago, as well as every town and rail junction from Mackinaw City, Michigan, to Tell City, Indiana.

About the Author

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


"An incredible wealth of information... a fine addition to library collections that support interests in railroading, transportation issues, post-World War II history, or the midwest region."

"Superb series... As in Carpenter's previous editions on the Mid-Atlantic states and New England, the detail in his hand-drawn, exhaustively researched maps is astonishing... This atlas and its companions are excellent snapshots of railroading's 'classic era.'"

- Ronald S. McGonigal - Classic Trains

"A winning reference."

"Mr. Carpenter's labor of love appeals to railroad professionals, railroad enthusiasts, sociologists, historians, local historians, cartographers, and collectors of unusual maps. The book belongs on your reference shelf. There's nothing else quite like it."

- John Baesch - The Portolan

"This atlas is a gem, and certainly should be considred for your bookshelf."

- Robert D. Brubaker - Keystone

"Carpenter's idiosyncratic freehand style might surprise some, but the technique is highly effective in conveying layers of detail, almost like storytelling with a map. And don't miss Carpenter's penetrating, highly readable essay at the front of the book, in which he provides the necessary context for fully understanding what was, for the purposes of this book, a very good year for railroads."

- Kevin P. Keefe - Trains

"There have been railroad atlases before, but none providing this level of detail and information in a convenient 8 1/2 by 11 inch format."

- David J. Mrozek - Michigan Railfan


"Volume 3 shows the details of some of the most complex RR terminals in the USA, such as Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, etc. In recent years, all of those layouts have been greatly reduced, due to mergers and changes in types of traffic. So the 1946 Atlas will be a suitable ‘monument to what once was’—at the peak of railroad passenger and local freight activity!"

- Richard B. Hasselman, Senior Vice President of Operations, CONRAIL (retired)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Creating the North American Landscape
Volume 3
From 17

9780801890024 : a-railroad-atlas-of-the-united-states-in-1946-volume-3-carpenter
360 Pages
$76.00 USD