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Railroads in the U.S.


So I was googling around yesterday, trying to find information about railroads in the 1880’s for the book I’m working on.  I’ve googled this many times, and didn’t think I’d come up with any better information than I have before, namely exactly what lines were operating at what times.  But I was wrong.  I found this wonderful website, chock full of all kinds of information, which I really need to share.

For anyone in need, it has lots and lots of maps.

Also, I realized that I never shared some other information, or at least pictures, of a museum I traveled to last year with my (ever patient with my history addiction) family.  It’s the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Co.   It’s wonderful in that you get to tour trains from by-gone days.  They also have an extensive library, with a very nice and helpful librarian.  I was sad because I only had a couple of hours and there was so much I wanted to look at and read!  Actually, everybody was very nice.  When my husband mentioned that I’m a historical romance writer and I really wanted to get into private train car they had, but wasn’t part of the tour, they got a key and let me in.  They were, I expect, in the middle of renovating it, thus it not being open, so these pictures may not reflect how it looks now.  But I was so very grateful to them.  Enjoy, and please forgive me for being a terrible picture taker.

IMG_3603  These are regular seats, not part of the private car.

IMG_3633  Part of the parlor.

IMG_3640 More of the parlor

IMG_3642Kitchen.  It was actually quite large, and the pictures don’t do it justice.

IMG_3645Another view of the kitchen.  You’ll see electric outlets, added later I expect but am not sure.  I believe the original dating on this car was about 1880

IMG_3651Bathroom.  Yes, that is my reflection in the mirror.  The bathroom had a shower.  Whether or not this was part of the car in this period, or added later, I don’t know.

IMG_3636A bedroom.  Notice the wood paneling and storage area.

IMG_3635Another bathroom


And I expect most people don’t need to see this, but I did! The toilet:


And here’s a picture I got off a plaque–don’t know why I didn’t get a regular picture.  The observation room.


Another bedroom taken off a plaque before they let me into the car.  Yes, those are raindrops mess up the picture.  It always rains on us when we tour anything.


And finally, the back the car:


These photos don’t really represent the car as much as I would like.  I was taking them for my own use in writing my novel, but if you notice the gleaming woodwork, you’ll get a better idea of the luxurious traveling in this car.  Here’s the information on the car, per the website.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy Business Car No. 96 (S)

No. 96 was built by CB&Q as a traveling office with overnight accommodations and kitchen facilities. Up to twelve officers, board members or friends of the railroad could travel in quiet comfort to cities and towns served by the railroad.

Oh and finally–I mean really finally this time, a picture of the telegraph office:





  1. Denise, Thank you for this post and the wonderful photos. I love train travel and have a huge file on the research I did for a book set in 1878. I toured every railroad museum within easy driving distance and also wrote off to other museums. My file is in a notebook about three inches thick. One of the museum curators sent me so many copies from his books. I was thrilled to have them and have used them again several times.

  2. Denise Eagan says:

    That sounds like a fantastic file, Caroline. I just might have to email you sometime when I’m stuck. I don’t have nearly that much info, so I was very excited when I came across the link with all the maps. I only wish I could get large, poster-sized copies of the maps.

  3. P.S. Can I use your photos? They are very good ones.

  4. Denise Eagan says:

    Sure! They’re all mine, so be my guest Caroline!

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