Y1: Oral Presentation C Friday, 10:30 11:00 am C Lake Superior Ballroom O

Mn/DOT Railroad Right of Way Map Preservation

George Thibault
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Land Management, LIS Unit
MS 643
395 John Ireland Boulevard
St. Paul, MN  55155-1899

The Department of Transportation took possession of a large number of railroad maps from the Public Service Commission (PSC) when the PSC was reorganized in the 1970s. These maps contain valuable information relative to existing and abandoned rail lines in Minnesota. This information includes alignment, land ties, right of way widths, land title information and acquisition information. The majority of these maps are paper copies, which date back to the 1920s and are becoming very fragile. The indexing of these maps is very poor and confusing due to the railroad companies' mergers or disappearing completely and map termini's referencing place names that no longer exist. 

This project proposes to get the maps into a digital format that would be available on the Internet. The indexing of these maps will be geo referenced so it will be easy to determine which map covers the area of an individual's interest. The projected users of the maps are public and private-sector land surveyors, land title examiners, Department of Transportation and Public Works personnel required to re-establish abandoned rail lines or any other person who has a need for information about the existing or abandoned rail lines.