Railroad to Nowhere: 10 Haunting Abandoned Railway Lines

(Image: Dennis Kuhn, cc-nc-sa-3.0.  See website)

Despite being little more than strips of rusty metal laid atop rotting wooden sleepers, there’s something strangely romantic about abandoned railway lines – especially when the tracks are still in situ.  Whether it’s their proud industrial history or the lonely sight of their rails disappearing into the undergrowth, these 10 abandoned railroad lines to nowhere have a haunting appeal.  (Above: abandoned Waiorongomai Valley Tramway, New Zealand.)

Related – The Abandoned Low-Level ‘Victorian Platform’ of Glasgow Central Station

Abandoned railway line to Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

(Image: Rossco, cc-nc-sa-3.0.  See website)

Reading Viaduct, Philadelphia (see regeneration project)

(Image: pomodoro, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Abandoned Railway Bridge near Winzenhofen, Germany

(Image: matthiashn, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Abandoned Lerchenberg Tunnel, Heilbronn, Germany

(Image: matthiashn, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Abandoned Tracks at Mount Union, Pennsylvania, United States

(Image: Thiophene_Guy, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Abandoned Line to Cumnock, New South Wales, Australia

(Image: Rossco, cc-nc-sa-3.0.  See website)

The Old Line to Franschhoek, South Africa

(Image: DanieVDM, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Wortley West Curve, South Yorkshire, UK

(Image: Urban Outlaw, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Derelict Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (“Little Belt Railway”), Paris, France

(Image: Éole Wind, cc-nc-sa-3.0.  See website)

Above: Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture: Abandoned “Belt Railway” Loops Around Paris



  • Bruno from Paris


    Thank you for these images. The image of the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture represents the trench of this line in the Montsouris park.
    If you are interested in the history of the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (“Little Belt Railway”) in Paris, see : http://www.petiteceinture.org/History-of-the-Petite-Ceinture,306.html


  • Tom

    Hi Bruno, glad you liked the images and thanks so much for the information!  You website you linked to is fascinating.  I am actually planning a follow-up article focusing on Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, so this info will come in great.  It’s amazing to think a railway stretching around the perimeter of Paris could have fallen into disuse!

  • Cbutler

    Superb site with extremely talented photographers. Thanks to all.

  • Tom

    Thanks very much for your feedback and pleased you’re enjoying the site!  All photographs are licensed under Creative Commons or reproduced with permission, and it’s fantastic to be able to display them!

  • M Pietrangeli03

    queste linee è bene ripristinarle

  • Kver

    Great pictures! It’s fun to think about the days when they had traffic. I imagine with the high prices for scrap now that these relics will not last much longer.


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