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9 Sep 2017
- UK Map: Darlington and Rotherham redrawn. Also Greenfield Resr Rly, Ingoldmells Miniature Rly.
6 Sep 2017
- Canals: Map of historic UK and Ireland canals launched.
2 Sep 2017
- UK Map: Sheffield redrawn, with much more industry detail and places.
8 Aug 2017
- UK Map: Historic trams added for Greater London.
30 July 2017
- UK Map: Trams added for West Midlands. Plus RAF Langford Lodge (thanks Martyn), Hoyland corrections (thanks Vic), Brecon Mountain Rly extension (thanks Anthony), Rochester trams addition (thanks Dick), Upwey original station (thanks Phil) and Murrow chord (thanks Barry).
21 July 2017
- UK Map: New High Speed 2 layer added. Approximate representation of the route as announced July 2017.
- UK Map: Trams added for Essex, north Kent. Also original Lowca station (thanks Dave), Pwllheli tramways and Colwyn Bay Miniature Rly (thanks John)
15 July 2017
- UK Map: Trams added for East Midlands and East Anglia. Also Edinburgh Exhibition stations and lines (thanks Tony), Croeser Tramway features (thanks Dave), Boulters Lock and Sunbury tramways (thanks Chris).
29 June 2017
- UK Map: Trams for North Yorks, South Yorks and Grimsby.
- Craigiemains, Loch Fyne, Ayr miniature railways plus Dunstaffnage Castle tracks (thanks Keith D), Alton detail (thanks Graeme), and Grove Ferry miniature rly added.
25 June 2017
- UK Map: Manchester trams additions (thanks Jon), SHMD to Haddens and LOR tram to Crosby added (thanks Brian). And New British Iron Co. picked out (thanks Paul), Glenormiston Halt added (thanks Keith P), Woking Gas Works (thanks Chris), Fionnphort tramway on Mull (thanks Malcolm).
- US Map: Oregon Trunk & Deschutes RR corrected (thanks David).
16 June 2017
- UK Map: More trams for West Yorks, Southampton, Portsmouth, Gosport, Shoreham, Brighton, Hastings, Folkestone, Dover, Reading, Swindon, Oxford, Cheltenham, Gloucester.
- Plus MOD Donnington (thanks Jon) and Torquay trams corrected (thanks Graeme and Jon).
9 June 2017
- UK Map: More trams added, covering Cumbria, North East and South West England.
4 June 2017
- UK Map: New historic tramlines layer added, currently covering Lancashire.
27 May 2017
- US Map: Redraw for Napa, Marin, Solano, Yolo counties, CA. Details for the northern San Francisco bay area, including the Mill Valley & Mt Tamalpais Scenic RR, San Quentin & San Rafael RR, and San Francisco, Napa & Calistoga RR.
21 May 2017
- US Map: Redraw for Alameda, Contra Costa counties, CA. Details for the eastern San Francisco bay area, including the Moles, California & Nevada RR, Black Diamond RR, Pittsburg RR, Empire RR.
- UK Map: More Hull tramways, Mendip Lead Mines, Hildasay tramway (thanks Richard, John, Colin).
14 May 2017
- UK Map: More Channel Island details, West Fenton narrow gauge, Holywell Town, Ribblehead, Beverley tramways, Stornoway Paraffin Works, The Warren tramway.
- US Map: New Virginia & Truckee alignment.
28 Apr 2017
- US Map: Redraw for San Francisco, San Meteo, Santa Clara counties, CA. Lots of detail for San Francisco waterfront.
22 Apr 2017
- US Map: Redraw for Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Kings, Tulare, San Benito counties, CA. A number of new railroads added, plus lots of new spurs.
15 Apr 2017
- Barnbow Filling Factory (thanks John), and Wansford Trout Farm tramway (thanks Richard).
14 Apr 2017
- New look UK & Ireland page launched. Includes Modern Rly layer and dynamic links to other mapping sites.
More website history...
Rail Map Online uses a Google Maps API to display the underlying map, with layers depicting the railway tracks and points of interest rendered on top of the map, again using the Google Maps API. Your use of Google Maps is subject to the Google terms & conditions.
The track layers have been produced by Rail Map Online in KML format. The station files are stored as Google Fusion Tables which speeds up the rendering and also makes for a neater display. The layers are intended for personal use only - if you would like to use them in your own website or publications then please contact the site owners for permission.
The KML files (the railway tracks, stations and points of interest) are derived from a number of sources. Note that due to Google's terms of conditions, every care has been made to avoid copying their information and other sources of location have been used to derive routes and locations (such as old Ordnance Survey maps that are out of Copyright) - see the Links section below.
Where railway information is freely available (for instance locations of existing tracks on maps), then in many cases only a rough representation of a route is provided here, with the focus of this website being on those lines no longer existing and the smaller, less well known branches and industrial systems. It is not possible to depict every spur and siding, but where significant lines are missing or errors have been made then please contact us so that we can correct it.
The primary source of information on old railway lines and the companies that built them is from various Wikipedia articles, and most of the lines when clicked on will bring up a link to the relevant article. Wikipedia is an amazing resource, and thank you to all of your who have contributed to the articles and put so much information on line for us all to use. Wikipedia also contains a number of Railway Clearing House junction diagrams that have been used to help allocate ownership of different lines.
As well as Wikipedia, the amazing RailBrit is a wealth of information on many UK lines, and many of their pages are also linked from the map.
Routes of UK railways, and positions of stations have been taken from out-of-copyright Ordnance Survey maps. There are a number of sources online, but the most useful have been the National Library of Scotland, Sabre Maps and Old OS Maps.
Details of more recent changes have been taken from various articles, including Network Rail publications and many of the modern tram companies' sites (linked from the map).
A special mention must go to The Railways Archive which is not only a fantastic resource, but also has enabled links from their extensive railway accident database directly to locations on this website.
For those wanting to explore old railway lines and get involved in preserving routes, then check out the Railway Ramblers.
Rail Map Online and the track and station overlays are owned by M Bromley. The CanalMapOnline overlay is courtesy of Chris Lowe. Please contact us if you spot any bugs and errors, or if you want to find out more about the maps.
This website and the railway overlays are intended for personal use only. They remain the Copyright of Rail Map Online.
Map Control. The map itself is controlled just like any other Google Map. Either use the mouse to drag the map around, and scroll wheel to zoom in & out, or use the map controls on the right side of the map. Different underlying map views are available from the Map button at top-right (e.g. satellite, street map, terrain map, historical maps), as well as the ability to turn on geographical labels.
Mouse Actions. Double-clicking on an area of the map zooms in. Right clicking on an area of the map places a Marker (a red symbol), which can also be dragged around to re-position. This is for you to mark a position or feature. Clicking on the Marker provides the position, or it can be viewed on the Tools Sidebar.
Lines & Places. Clicking on a map feature (a track or station) will bring up any available information, such as station name and position, or links to web resources (such as Wikipedia articles).
Sidebars. The buttons at the top-left of the map bring up Sidebars containing additional Rail Map Online features. Only one sidebar is shown at once, or all sidebars can be hidden to maximise the map area.
Tools contains the current cursor position (or map centre if the cursor is off the map), the Marker position and the ability to change the displayed position format. You can also remove the Maker from the map.
Places contains a list of all the stations currently displayed. You can choose to display stations (red dots, more will appear as you zoom in) and other features (green dots). You can also search the list of stations, or use the Area search feature to list just those stations in the current view. Hovering over the station list puts a temporary green marker on the map (if in view), while clicking on a station name centres the map on that position; double-clicking zooms to the station; and right-clicking puts the Marker on the station. If performance is slow then it is recommended you do not use the Places feature.
Legend contains a list of all the railway companies currently displayed. The Dynamic option will automatically list just those companies in the current view. As with places, you can search the companies. Click on the company name to centre & zoom the map, or hover your mouse over the company to show a coloured polygon on the map showing the approximate extent of that company's lines. The list of companies is slowly being populated.
Info brings up various information about Rail Map Online and the information displayed.
1 Aug 2015
- Stations and other features occasionally fail to display. Try changing zoom, or turning stations off and on. If that fails, try clearing the cache (might not be loading latest version).
- At high zoom levels a stray track occasionally appears as a straight line across the screen. This appears to be a 'feature' of the Google map rendering.
- Reports of the company list occasionally failing to load on some browsers.
Found a bug, then Email us with details, including which browser you're using.
Features in the pipeline...
- Ongoing updates to the UK map, including incorporating user feedback.
- Simpler map option showing Open and Closed lines (this requires a re-drawing of the maps, so is still some way off).
- Refresh of the map interface to make it easier to use on mobile devices.
- More US maps, creation of a US map legend.
Get in touch & follow us
Email us with feedback on the map content, or comments on the website.
Let others know about this website by emailing a friend, or use the social network links on the page Header.
Map Centre position
Right Click on map
Canals are courtesy of Chris Lowe
9 Sep: Legend added
6 Sep: CanalMapOnline is launched
Canals courtesy of Chris Lowe
2 Sep: Sheffield redrawn
8 Aug: London trams
27 May: CA Napa, Marin, Solano, Yolo redrawn
21 May: CA Alameda, Contra Costa redrawn
Email us with suggestions, corrections and feedback