FREE Railroad Maps Complements of the Federal Railroad Administration

While researching a blog post regarding grade crossings in the Cajon Pass area of southern California, I came across a very cool tool that most railfans and rail photographers would find useful.

If you are in search of some railroad or railfanning maps then point your browser to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) website.  The FRA was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 and, according to the website, its purpose is to:

Promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations

Administer railroad assistance programs

Conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy

Provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast Corridor rail passenger service

Consolidate government support of rail transportation activities

The FRA is a gold mine for those interested in the railroad industry at any level.  One particular nugget I found while researching the closure of some grade crossings in Cajon Pass is called the FRA’s GIS Application.  The URL (web address) for the map is

The map and its interface should be rather easy to use.  Simply select the various levels of information that you are interested in in the left-most pane and use the tools pallete at the top edge of the map to move around and zoom the map in or out.

Below is a screenshot of the map zoomed in to an area  in California’s Cajon Pass called Sullivan’s Curve.  Notice the level of rail-centric detail: milepost markers, station names, and even subdivision names.  Not shown on this map, but available for you, are a vast array of other features including showing all of the grade crossing locations.  Pretty slick.  Our hard-earned tax dollars at work.  Thank you FRA, a job well done.

Screenshot of FRA’s GIS Application

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