PacificNG Header
PacificNG Header 
Printer-Friendly Format

About PacificNG.

Welcome to, dedicated to the history of narrow gauge railroading in western North America and the Pacific Rim. Our goal is to create a central hub for history, imagery, and reference materials relevant to fans of narrow gauge railroading and increasingly early railroads west of the Great Divide.

We focus on the railroads west of the continental divide, in part to differentiate ourselves from the dominate discussion of Colorado narrow gauge railroads, while recognizing that much of Colorado’s narrow gauge history is found within our area of interest. Similarly, we focus on narrow gauge railroads. Narrow gauge railroads were more than just a different track gauge. That track gauge was chosen for specific reasons, and those differences keep most narrow gauge line isolated to some extent. We note that we are not so focused on our rules (Pacific Narrow Gauge) to ignore interesting railroad which outside this focus. This is particularly true of early western standard gauge lines, particularly the Central Pacific and Union Pacific during their early years of construction in the late 1860’s and short lines like the Virginia & Truckee, as well as some railroads who by some fault of geography are not on the Pacific Rim, and, even some railroads found in the state of Colorado.

Our site has two major areas of interest, our discussion forum and our information pages. Our discussion forum is a place to ask a question and discuss aspects of railroad history and modeling techniques. The forum is not routinely moderated, but is closely watched. Increasingly much of the discussion occurs on our Facebook page.

We have two families of information pages. Under the “Railroads” tab, you will find lists of railroads by state (or country or region) categorized by their organization or industry. This growing list of short histories, articles, and rosters provides a encyclopedic look at of a multitude of western narrow gauge railroads. This is provided in the model and sprit of David Myrick’s 1963 work, Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California. The railroad history pages are linked to collections of historic photos and documents we have found, presented on our photo gallery. We offer maps of many of the railroads, some with interactive features.

Under the “Historical Data” tab we offer information on railroad technology, railroad locomotive builders, car builders and railroad and period paint. Additionally we have links to railroad commission reports, railroad investment manuals, Car Builder’s Dictionaries.

In the future we intend to offer searchable databases of locomotives and newspaper articles.

This information comes from a growing community of historians, curators, authors, artists and others who have been instrumental in what we call a "curated wiki" to collect and to share this information with others.

We invite you to use this information, ask questions, join our discussions, and to contribute to the resources found here.


This site uses cookies in a minimal capacity. We store a small session cookie that keeps track of which tab you have selected on our railroad listing pages. This cookie does not track any other info and is not designed, nor intended to be used for advertising purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Where is the search option?

A. At this time we do not have a full site search. We are working to add this feature in the future.

Q. How do I find a specific railroad?

A. At this time the best way is to navigate the listings under “Railroads” from the left hand menu on the site. Listings are broken up by state and then by type.

Q. How do you determine what category a railroad falls under?

A. Generally speaking, railroads are categorized by their primary function. For example: logging railroads like the West Side Lumber Co., Oregon Lumber Co., etc would be listed under the “Logging” category. Some railroads belong to multiple categories, being an industrial or mining railroad AND a common carrier.

[ Back ]