Historical sizes of railroads

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North America[edit]

By 1948, there were 14 railroads in North America with more than 1000 locomotives in service each. Twelve were located in the US and two were in Canada. The total number of steam locomotives and the number of route miles for each railroad in 1948 are given by Bruce (1952).

North American Railroads with 1,000 or more Locomotives in Service, 1948
Railroad Number of Steam Locomotives

in Service, Early 1948

Number of Route

Miles of Track

Pennsylvania Railroad 4467 9736
New York Central Railroad 3473 10534
Canadian National Railway 2300 23000
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 2030 6192
Canadian Pacific Railway 1800 17000
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 1730 13081
Southern Pacific Railroad 1554 8195
Southern Railway 1509 7705
Illinois Central Railroad 1324 6581
Union Pacific Railroad 1323 9756
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 1213 10359
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1208 5076
Chicago and North Western Railway 1042 8058
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 1030 8867
Color Key Canadian Railroad US Railroad

Bruce (1952) also reports that by the end of 1949 a total of approximately 29,000 steam locomotives were left on Class I railroads in the United States.

See also[edit]


  • Bruce, Alfred W. (1952) The Steam Locomotive in America: Its Development in the Twentieth Century, New York, Bonanza Books, Table 6, plus additional material from text for Canadian Railroads.