I am seeking GIS or geospatial data that has the oldest railroad in the United States, or more specifically in the state of Colorado.
Must have come from the beginning of 1900s to present.
Railroads and the Making of Modern America has links to the following downloadable historical US railroad data. I didn't investigate the actual geospatial extent of these railroad datasets, so I can't promise they have Colorado railroads. Here's a wayback machine link in case the original site goes down.
- Historical GIS: Depots of the U.S. South, 1861 (about 1.3 MB)
- Historical GIS: The 1861 Railroad System in America (about 6.3 MB note: this GIS does not include Maine railroads in the data)
- Historical GIS: The 1840-1845-1850-1861-1870 Railroad System in America, State and National KML files (12.2 MB note: these are state by state for the entire period in 5 year increments)
- Historical GIS: The 1840-1845-1850-1861-1870 Railroad System in America, State and National Shapefiles (11.9 MG note: these files are organized as feature classes within file geodatabases sorted by year for those who need the raw data.)
Other Data Files in structured formats:
- Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Land Sales Contracts: Lancaster County and Clay County, Nebraska (about 1.8 MB .xls format)
"Railroads and the Making of Modern America" was the very first Google search result for "historical gis railroad." There were other promising links further down in the search results page, including:
this page has a list of 11 sources of historical GIS data: https://guides.library.ucla.edu/c.php?g=180507&p=1188399#s-lg-box-3585425
Modifying the search with "shapefile" or "geospatial" instead of "gis" may also be fruitful. If you find more/better sources please share them.
Old Maps Online may have images of old maps that include railroads.