Railroads can be a defensive point of concern for several reasons:

  • Provides a clear route for attack
  • Derailment of trains carrying toxic materials
  • Use of trains as an attack vehicle or to force entry to a town

Railroads can have positive points as well:

  • They create defensive lines and can be good means for surveillance / intel
  • The tunnels can be used for makeshift shelters is an emergency
  • Both tunnels and bridges can be blocked stopping refugee and bandit access
  • They can be used for short run bug-out routes
  • Means to gather supplies from derailed trains during a collapse

Note: SRC has personally inquired to several railroads about the number of trains and typical cargo loads. Don’t bother calling yourself. That info used to be freely given, but after the inside job of 9-11-2001 that information is highly confidential and on a need to know basis. However, when you’re scouting property do as we do, ask locals. They will tell you the number of trains per day, the type of cars normally seen and noise levels among other interesting information you may find helpful in your property search.

Rail Maps

Here’s an excellent resource with more detail than you even knew existed on railroads anywhere on the globe.

Remember! Most every major road and highway in the Redoubt will follow somewhat closely the route of the railroad, for obvious reasons (bridges / tunnels / mountain passes) so it’s important to spend time at your top three retreat properties to listen for anything that may annoy you the first time you sit down to enjoy the sunset with your favorite crutch.

Some things to love about this resource:

  • automatically adjusts detail level based on your zoom, to avoid clutter when zoomed out
  • max detail shows almost 40 different details about a stretch of rail
  • background map defaults to completely grayscale, leaving only the railroad info in color
  • other map settings and layers are available allowing color background, topographic relief, or no background
  • allows one to identify if a stretch of rail is active or abandoned

Here’s an example zoomed to show almost the entire Redoubt. Note the low level of detail on the legend. [Click image for higher resolution.]

At this level you’re just going to see major rail lines.


Here is another example zoomed in on North Idaho. Note the increased detail on the legend, and the named rail lines on the map. [Click image for higher resolution.]

At this level you can learn many details about the railroads in a neighborhood, such as whether a railroad is even still in use, and who owns the active lines.


Here’s a medium zoom showing some of the activity crossing over to Washington, with the topo/hill shading layer turned on. [Click image for higher resolution.]

Pretty good tactical view here…