Useful Things

Here is a list of links and resources which I find myself frequently drawing upon. Hopefully you will find it useful! Please feel free to suggest others in the comments below.

This page will be periodically updated.

Historical Maps

Ward Maps, and their Massachusetts Transit Maps collection, (don’t miss their atlas collection, giving a block by block view of the city over the decades, such as the 1895 edition) and their sister site, Boston In Transit (don’t miss their track plan sets!)

Maps of the Boston Elevated Railway Company, archived at Wikimedia Commons

Public transport maps of Boston, archived at Wikimedia Commons

Historical Timetables

Amtrak Timetable Archive, 2008-present, maintained by Christopher Juckins

The Museum of [Amtrak] Railway Timetables, 1970-2016

Train timetables of the United States, archived at Wikimedia Commons — be sure to click through to the Boston & Maine, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, and the MBTA Commuter Rail sub-categories

Historical Reference

Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA District 1964-2021, by Jonathan Belcher

Boston Street Railway Association

The Annual Reports of the Boston Transit Commission, 1895-1918, archived at Wikimedia Commons

Orange Line Relocation and Arterial Street Construction (Southwest Corridor Project) FEIS — contains early designs of the SW Corridor Orange Line stations

Present-Day Maps

Vanshnookenraggen’s MBTA Track Map

Vanshnookenraggen’s NYC Track Map

Vanshnookenraggen’s Chicago Track Map

Vanshnookenraggen’s blog

Underground Station Diagrams — a colleague on ArchBoston has slowly been building diagrams of the underground layouts of various MBTA stations over the last several years — highly detailed track maps of London, Paris, Toronto, Los Angeles, and dozens of other systems

The History of the MBTA “Spider Map” with Ken Dumas — absolutely fascinating review of the development of the current MBTA map, with insight into the various behind-the-scenes factors that went into it

Present-Day Data (Ridership and Performance), Studies, and Reference

MBTA Better Bus Profiles — in my (hot take) opinion, this is the most valuable collection of MBTA ridership data and analysis on the web, at least for non-professionals; it’s an extraordinary level of detail, balanced by easy-to-read analysis and summary

MBTA “Blue Book” Open Data Portal — get access to all the ridership data

The 2014 MBTA Blue Book — the last version of the “Blue Book” that was published in pdf form; if the Open Data Portal is a little daunting for you, this can be a suitable alternative in a pinch

Amtrak State Fact sheets, including ridership numbers per station

Christopher Juckins’ website, including regional Amtrak maps and the Amtrak Status Maps Archive Database, providing a wealth of data on Amtrak’s on-time performance

RIPTA Rider Survey Report — this is the only per-route ridership breakdown I’ve been able to find for RIPTA

Present-Day Reference — a treasure trove of photographs of transit systems around the world, as well as a long-running collection of NYC Subway track maps

Miles In Transit — lots of detailed detailed descriptions of many many bus routes and stations

The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page

Bus Priority Toolkit — published by the MBTA’s Better Bus Project, this extensive and colorful document reviews a variety of techniques for improving bus service, including transit signal priority, bus lanes, bus stop improvements, and more

Present-Day Studies

The 2018 South Coast Rail DSEIR

The 2010 Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan, including track diagrams for proposed expansions of the NEC

Connect 2035: A 15-Year Service Development Plan and Infrastructure Planning Process for the Northeast Corridor, July 2021

Connect 2037, an update to the above, with Project Information Appendix

NEC Future study


Speed-Time-Distance Calculator



The Wayback Machine — can’t find an old schedule? Looking for an old map? Always check here!

Wikipedia’s List of colors by shade and List of tertiary- and quaternary-color terms — need to think of some colors beyond ROYGBIV (or ROYGBP) to name your transit lines? Look here for inspiration!