OpenStreetMap

New York State railroads

Posted by RussNelson on 24 January 2010 in English (English)

Been working on New York State railroads. I built up, over the course of about six years, a database of NYS railroads, digitized off USGS topo maps and ortho photos. It is, for the most part, better than the TIGER data, but not everywhere. So ... I've been importing it all by hand, mile by mile, line by line, combining it with existing TIGER railroads, or in the case of abandoned railroads, existing TIGER tracks, paths, and roads.

I've finished with the Erie-Lackawanna. Other major roads still to be done include the LIRR, the LV, the NYC, the NYNH&H, and the Pennsy. Been working on the import since 2006, but only seriously since July of 2009. I still have 252 lines to go. At one a day (which is about what it takes), that's a year worth of work days.

New York is a BIG state, and it had a LOT of railroads. Specifically, the total number of miles in New York State that were ever graded for tracks is: (drum roll, please) 14811.17 miles.

Comment from DavidJDBA on 24 January 2010 at 20:26

Good for you, Russ!
Obviously, many of those lines are no longer. Any tips for tagging former/abandoned railroads? I'm primarily working Colorado streets and trails and aligning railroads, mainly as an afterthought as I encounter them. But there are a lot of former railroads, mostly in the mountains, that could be mapped.
-Dave

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Comment from RussNelson on 7 September 2010 at 01:52

If it's a standard gauge railroad which simply doesn't exist anymore, I tag it railway=abandoned. If it was a trolley, I add railway:historic=light_rail. If it was narrow gauge, I add gauge=narrow if I don't know the gauge, or gauge=3feet or gauge=2feet or gauge=1m as appropriate.

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