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Introducing... The Museum of Railway Timetables! (from main forum)


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#21 printman2000

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:17 AM

Adding "amtrak" to the domain name would require a license agreement from Amtrak, which is just a lot of unnecessary paperwork to deal with. I don't really have an intention of adding non-Amtrak timetables to the site -- the domain "timetables.org" is short and memorable, which is why I took it several years ago. :)


Gotcha.

Well, just an idea for the future. Having other roads passenger timetables would be a very cool addition. Having people submit timetables would save some time for you two.

#22 MrFSS

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:30 AM

Adding "amtrak" to the domain name would require a license agreement from Amtrak, which is just a lot of unnecessary paperwork to deal with. I don't really have an intention of adding non-Amtrak timetables to the site -- the domain "timetables.org" is short and memorable, which is why I took it several years ago. :)


Gotcha.

Well, just an idea for the future. Having other roads passenger timetables would be a very cool addition. Having people submit timetables would save some time for you two.


Many of the old, pre-Amtrak, Official Guides, which have all passenger rail tables in them can be had on CD from sources such as eBay.

#23 ScottC4746

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for posting all of this. I had thought Sunset Limited ran beyond New Orleans from day one (of Amtrak that is) on your little on line museum answered that question for me. According to Wikipedia, even from 1894 the original never went past New Orleans, but did turn at LAX and continue to San Francisco.

Dear friends,

I am proud to announce the public release of perhaps the single most ambitious online railroad effort in history. For the first time ever, a comprehensive digital archive of Amtrak schedules dating back to May 1, 1971 is open and ready for viewing at www.timetables.org.

This project has been in the works for over five years, and was a fully volunteer effort from start to finish.

I came up with the idea back in 2004 when complaints arose over the old MileTrak system's inability to account for trips taken on discontinued routes. It became clear to me very quickly that I would need to begin collecting old timetables in order to add this historical information to the system. In order for MileTrak to make use of schedule data for the calculation of mileage traveled, all of the stations and arrival times would have to be converted to text form. Of course, the imperfect nature of timetables produced before the digital era was such that accurate optical character recognition (OCR) is almost impossible. For that and other reasons, including a lack of time to keep developing the site, I shelved MileTrak but I didn't stop collecting timetables.

After giving it some thought, I realized that the American passenger rail community composed of travelers, advocates, researchers, historians, politicians and employees would benefit much more from easy access to the timetable source materials, rather than just a niche application that made use of them. I decided that I would put together the resources to scan each and every page of the timetables, and host them for free on the Internet. It was a lofty and daunting goal!

My full-time career as a MIT student has left me with minimal free time to devote to the especially laborious task of flipping timetables page by page on a flatbed scanner. After a certain point, it became obvious that I would need some help if it was all to be finished in a reasonable time frame. What I really needed was a computer-savvy individual with the patience, skill, and attention to detail required to properly process and archive these delicate documents. I assure you that they cannot just be run through any ordinary document feeder!

About two years ago, I met my match right in my own backyard: Tom Bedwell, better known around here as MrFSS. Tom and I struck an arrangement whereby I would mail him packages of schedules, and he would then scan and upload them in digital form. Tom can give you a better idea of the time commitment on his part, but suffice it to say, it was substantial. Each national, northeast or system timetable took several hours to scan, correct, and organize. The end result is yours to behold.

We are just a few timetables away from a full digital set, and will finish scanning and processing them as we find the time. We are also aware that some adjustment is required with the interface and for certain images. But since we're so close, we figured it was ready to open up for everyone to enjoy. Tell all your friends, and share the link widely. All of the original ads, maps and photos are included in the timetables, which will make for hours of reading and entertainment. And finally, join us in our new Amtrak Timetable Discussion area to talk about the interesting things you find along the way.


Routes I've been on end to end:
California Zepher 5 Chicago-Emeryville Roomette 3 (6/6/2013) 

Great Southeastern Railway (UK) (6/12/2015) London Victoria-Dover Priory Round Trip
Great Western Railway (UK)(July 1995) London Waterloo-Penzance Round Trip

KiwiRail Scenic Journeys Northern Explorer 9/21/17 Auckland to Wellington 
Pacific Surfliner 564 Los Angeles-San Diego Round Trip Business (1/3/2009); 587 Business (1/3/2009)
Southern (UK) (9/7/2012)London Victoria-Brighton Round Trip
Southwest Chief 3 Chicago-Los Angeles Roomette 20 (5/28/2011) 4 Los Angeles-Chicago Roomette 6 (6/3/2013)
Sunset Limited 1 New Orleans-Los Angeles Roomette 6 (6/5/2009) 2 Los Angeles-New Orleans Bedroom F (01/29/2010)

Point Balance 10828
Current Year Rail Balance 2490


#24 Train2104

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:54 PM

Adding "amtrak" to the domain name would require a license agreement from Amtrak, which is just a lot of unnecessary paperwork to deal with. I don't really have an intention of adding non-Amtrak timetables to the site -- the domain "timetables.org" is short and memorable, which is why I took it several years ago. :)


This site has "amtrak" in it's URL and I don't think Alan had to jump though hoops to get the name...

#25 AlanB

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:15 PM


Adding "amtrak" to the domain name would require a license agreement from Amtrak, which is just a lot of unnecessary paperwork to deal with. I don't really have an intention of adding non-Amtrak timetables to the site -- the domain "timetables.org" is short and memorable, which is why I took it several years ago. :)


This site has "amtrak" in it's URL and I don't think Alan had to jump though hoops to get the name...


I didn't jump through hoops; Anthony did! :) Anthony is the owner of the site and he's the one who holds the license to use the word Amtrak in the name and the URL.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#26 Anthony

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:02 PM

Alan is right -- but the site wouldn't be what it is without him :)

#27 SarahZ

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 01:39 PM

I'm pining for the days when you could take a train from Michigan to Toronto without having to take a 2-3 day journey around Lake Erie. :(

Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro





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