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US Icon U.S. Major Rail Database

The U.S. Major Rail Database are digital map layers that represent the railroad network for the Class I rail lines in the United States. It has been developed to be used with a desktop mapping system and/or Geographic Information System (GIS).

The database has been developed through extensive industry research. It is continually updated and reflects all the rail currently in operation. Railroad company names are updated and represent all changes resulting from industry mergers and acquisitions.

The U.S. Major Rail Database consists of separate graphical polyline layers of data that represent all the major rail companies in operating in the United States. The graphical objects, or rail lines, are linked to a database containing information about the specific rail line, such as:

Rail Operators - Rail operators usually are the owners of the line. In some cases the line may be owned by one entity and operated by another. Up to three operator fields are used to identify the railroad companies operating the rail line. The first field contains the primary operator.

Track Rights - Track rights indicate that a railroad company has an agreement to operate their trains over a specific rail line owned by another company. Up to three fields are used to identify the companies that have track rights over a particular stretch of rail.

Passenger - If applicable, one field is appointed to identify the passenger service operating over the rail line.

More Info Icon For more information, see U.S. Major Rail Database white paper.

The U.S. Major Rail Database was developed from the US Rail database, to ensure accuracy and changes to the rail industry. The U.S. Major Rail Database was designed for quick display and limited memory. The U.S. Major Rail Database consists of the following operating companies:

  • BNSF - Burlington Northern Santa Fe
  • CN - Canadian National (For US Only)
  • CP - Canadian Pacific (For US Only)
  • CSXT - CSX Transportation
  • KCS - Kansas City Southern
  • NS - Norfolk Southern
  • UP - Union Pacific

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