U. S. RAILROADS 1826 - 1850
The purpose of this website is to provide answers to commonly asked questions about the early history of railroads in the United States. It covers things like who built a particular railroad originally, when it was done and where it went. This seems to be the first time that the original builders of a railroad has been determined. It tells you how many miles of track were constructed in a given year by which railroad and in which state. It tells you what the accumulated mileage of track was up to a given year. There is a separate page for each railroad as it was originally built with a map of its location and a link to see it displayed in Google™ Maps. Please allow Google™ Maps time after the map is completed to process the XML code necessary to plot the railroad line. It will show up as a red line. If the railroad is in a state whose name is near the end of the alphabet (Pennsylvania or later), it will take longer to draw the line. Once it is drawn, you can change zoom and map style without waiting for a redraw.
In order to give some context to what the United States was like from 1830 to 1850, the population data for states, counties and towns is given for the censuses of 1830, 1840 and 1850 and the towns for which there is 1850 census data are shown on the detailed railroad maps. Remember that there were no states with railroads west of the Mississippi River. Also West Virginia was still part of Virginia as this was prior to the Civil War.