The Railway History Database is an evolving dataset aiming to trace the development of the world’s railway network. It collects structured data describing the infrastructure itself as well as companies, agencies, other players and how they developed over time. Links to documents and other sources provide a starting point for further research into the history of the railways and how they changed society.

The database and the project are still in their early stages. But you are welcome to have a look at what’s there already:

Current status

as of 2022-04-22

Focus is currently on completing a mid-scaled overview map of Europe. For the current state, see the map’s progress page.


The Railway History Database is currently maintained by Martin Hoffmann. You can contact me by email at hn@nvnc.de. If you have questions, suggestions, or corrections for the data, you can also create an issue on Github directly.


If you are interested in contributing to the database, the map, or the website presenting both data and map, please send an email to hn@nvnc.de.