Quantcast

Putting historical railroad timetables online

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
I'm posting here to make contact with websites and private collectors who have already put digital timetables online. timetables.org is one example, with its great collection of Amtrak material, which points people to this forum to make contact. It'd be great to establish partnerships with them.

Contact is being made on behalf of Timetable World. The website has just been relaunched with a lot more European material (about 190 timetables and maps so far), and now wants to focus on adding US material. As I write, I have a digital copy of the 1916 Official Guide processing in the background, lent to us by Dan in CA. I've emailed the sites that have email addresses, but for others I just have to post here and hope they make contact.

We're all volunteers. One new feature of the website is that people can sign up to help at home - which is great for folk unable to go out during the pandemic. After just three weeks, we have 20-25 new helpers.

One member of this forum has posted some Dropbox links with some excellent Canadian timetables. Well, we'd love to host the timetables, if he wants to work with us.

I have previously bought Official Guide reprints from CapeTrains.com. Has anyone had recent contact with them? My emails go unanswered and the website is recently unavailable.

I've also reached out to canadasouthern.com - no reply yet.

Thanks for any help you can give. There's an email address on the website, or post a reply here.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
I used the old copy of the website to make an interactive map of the 1952 Official Guide of Railways in North America. Would you like to post it on your website.

I would be happy to make one for the 1916 edition. However I would like it to be organized like the former timetable world site so I can do it by railroad like I did the 1952 one. I have the 1970 Official Guide that I'm going to work on when I get time.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
The "old" website is still available. Just follow the Legacy menu on the new site and it is exactly how it was.

I'd be interested to see what you did with the 1952 Official Guide. Can you share a link? The indexing by railroad took a long time, so the new approach is to crowd-source the work. Two weeks after introducing the feature, 13 people have signed up to do indexing and 30 timetables have been completed. Other helpers are scanning or sharing books. With many people doing a small amount of work, we can expand the site more quickly.
 

ehbowen

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,384
Location
Houston, Texas
I can certainly help with material, if not with time. I have at least one Official Guide in either digital or print from every year from 1933 to 1971, save 1939. While most of my digital copies were scanned by and purchased from others and therefore may be restricted on copyright grounds, I do have a very good scan of an August 1950 Guide which was done professionally by a service and therefore I own any copyright to the scans. (As far as I have determined from research, the National Railway Publication Co. did not, as a practice, renew original copyrights and therefore all of their pre-1964 material should be in the public domain [at least in the U.S.] for the underlying work.)

I put Streamliner Schedules up as basically a one man show, but I've had too much going on to work on it lately. But my public email address is readily available on the site, and I do respond (as long as you stand out from the SPAM!).
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,598
Location
Nova Scotia
I found a great link posted by @Urban Sky (who also post here) with almost a complete set of VIA Timetables going back to 1976 + many CN and CP Timetables before that.

I can no longer find that Link. Perhaps @Urban Sky can provide it here?
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
I found a great link posted by @Urban Sky (who also post here) with almost a complete set of VIA Timetables going back to 1976 + many CN and CP Timetables before that.

I can no longer find that Link. Perhaps @Urban Sky can provide it here?
@Urban Sky is someone I'd really like to make contact with. I found his VIA and CN/CP timetable collection but don't want to republish it without his agreement.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
I can certainly help with material, if not with time. I have at least one Official Guide in either digital or print from every year from 1933 to 1971, save 1939. While most of my digital copies were scanned by and purchased from others and therefore may be restricted on copyright grounds, I do have a very good scan of an August 1950 Guide which was done professionally by a service and therefore I own any copyright to the scans. (As far as I have determined from research, the National Railway Publication Co. did not, as a practice, renew original copyrights and therefore all of their pre-1964 material should be in the public domain [at least in the U.S.] for the underlying work.)

I put Streamliner Schedules up as basically a one man show, but I've had too much going on to work on it lately. But my public email address is readily available on the site, and I do respond (as long as you stand out from the SPAM!).
Eric: I've found your website and email details. I'll be in touch shortly.
 

Urban Sky

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
78
Location
MTR
I found a great link posted by @Urban Sky (who also post here) with almost a complete set of VIA Timetables going back to 1976 + many CN and CP Timetables before that.

I can no longer find that Link. Perhaps @Urban Sky can provide it here?
My timetable collection of VIA and CN/CP is basically complete since 1950 and can be found here:
CN/CP collection

VIA collection

@Urban Sky is someone I'd really like to make contact with. I found his VIA and CN/CP timetable collection but don't want to republish it without his agreement.
Just send me a message here on Amtrak Trains, but I generally consider all files I’ve scanned myself (i.e. all files without a website in their file name) as open domain...
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
My timetable collection of VIA and CN/CP is basically complete since 1950 and can be found here:
CN/CP collection

VIA collection


Just send me a message here on Amtrak Trains, but I generally consider all files I’ve scanned myself (i.e. all files without a website in their file name) as open domain...
Thanks. As a newbie member, the moderators didn't like me contacting you directly! Thanks for your consent - I'll make sure you are credited. It's a great achievement to have scanned so much.
Have you done any other Dropboxes ?
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
206
Location
northwestern Montana
The owner of streamlinermemories.info hosts some dozens or hundreds of timetables (and other memorabilia), not just from his own collection but from scanned provided by his readers. He publishes his address as trainlover at streamlinermemories dot info. He allows his scans to be used for non-commercial purposes and might be interested in a joint effort of some type.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Great Britain
Well, this post has gone pretty well - thank you everyone who has replied (here and via the Timetable World website). Here's a status report:

Thanks to @Urban Sky, we will be able to provide great coverage of Canadian timetables. There are some interesting historical railroad maps in the public domain from University of Toronto which I'll try to download over the coming weeks. Any others map sources you can suggest would be great. Newfoundland didn't join Canada until 1949 so old rail maps for NL are a little harder to find. Putting any map on Timetable World means they can be accessed more easily on our map server, instead of huge unwieldy JPG files (some of which can be 100Mb).

Official Guides: We now have access to the following 67 editions already digitized (those marked * are already on the site or ready for release). A small number may have been previously sold as CDs but at least two businesses appear to have shut down with the deaths of their founders. So, having tried unsuccessfully to reach the families of both, I'm inclined to go ahead with them - and beg forgiveness if necessary.

Google Books originally released most of the early editions in full (from Stanford University) but have since back-tracked, offering them only some of them only as snippets. Do you have any Google Books editions not listed here? Please share if they are full editions.

1868-061881-101910-011921-061930-011940-121950-081960-03
1870-061889-011916-031923-10 *1933-021941-121952-08 *1962-05
1874-011891-011916-05 *1925-121933-031942-031952-121962-10
1875-011895-081927-011936-051943-101953-021963-07
1876-011937-031944-031953-041965-04
1877-031937-091945-031954-081965-11
1878-051938-091945-081955-101966-01
1878-101946-011957-031966-07
1879-091946-031958-101966-10
1947-041958-041967-05
1948-041967-12
1948-051968-01
1949-031968-07
1949-121968-09
1969-07
1969-11

Schedules published by railroads: That's a huge topic. We have a few that made it over to England (where I am located) but it'd be great to find US collectors who have done some digitizing - or would like to do some. There are 4 volunteers scanning in Europe, three with Czur overhead scanners for non-destructive scanning, plus one with a Fujitsu sheet scanner for destructive scanning. We don't like to be destructive but sometimes it's the best way when a book is already falling apart - and you get a better scan.

Maps: US railroad maps is the next thing I'll focus on sourcing.

As you can imagine, there's a lot of work to publish all this material, so it'll be done selectively. And it'll take time. Once we're ready to launch in the US, I hope local volunteers will step forward - as they have in Europe - to share the work.
 
Top