Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Historical railroad maps

The Office of Land Management completed a project that indexed and preserved a sizeable collection of Minnesota’s railroad right of way valuation maps and associated railroad station plat maps. Growing levels of demand for these historic maps presented obstacles to those seeking an efficient means to locate specific maps. Additionally, there were concerns with maps losing their integrity due to deteriorating physical condition. Using GIS technology, this project involved indexing, scanning and converting the paper maps into digital form for easier searching by use of a spatial index.

All of the railroad valuation maps and railroad station plats from the collection are available and by self-service can be accessed and downloaded for no charge at MnDOT's Mapping and Monitoring website.

MnDOT’s Electronic Document Access website provides an alternative source to view and download railroad valuation maps and railroad station plats. It also includes the 1936 Sectional County Map collection. The Sectional County Maps frequently reference by general location many of the abandoned railroad lines. This site provides search tools to identify maps by railroad name.

Documents and sample images

  • Make Tracks to the Rail Maps - PDF (4.7 MB)
  • Railroad Route Location - Active and Abandoned - PDF (371 KB)
  • Statewide Map of Valuation Map Footprints - PDF (550 KB)
  • Statewide Map of Station Plat Points - PDF (498 KB)
  • Valuation Map Sample - TIF (808 KB)
  • Valuation Map Caption Block Sample - TIF (14 KB)
  • Station Plat Sample - TIF (1 MB)
  • Station Plat Caption Block Sample - TIF (19 KB)
  • 1917 Railroad Map - GIF (1 MB) *
  • 1930 Railroad Map - GIF (1 MB) *
  • Railroad Right of Way Plat Samples **
    • Part 1 of 3 - PDF (7 MB)
    • Part 2 of 3 - PDF (8 MB)
    • Part 3 of 3 - PDF (8 MB)

* Higher resolution versions of these maps can be made available by special arrangement. See contact information and order link below.

** These blueprint copies were found in MnDOT records in April 2013. It is believed that these records exist(ed) for much of the state, however their location is unknown. If you have any information regarding other copies of Railroad Right of Way Plats, please contact MnDOT's Office of Land Management.