Presenting the latest in my series of transit-styled diagrams (see also the Interstate System in the style of the London Underground and a Washington, DC Metro map redesign), the entire Amtrak passenger rail system in the style of a subway map. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen another take on this anywhere else on the internet, but I guess it is a fairly monumental undertaking (Good thing I’m the patient type!). Every last station is shown, the result of a lot of research on both Amtrak’s official site and Wikipedia. Shown below are the two final versions of the map – one with all stations and routes listed, and one as more of an abstraction: simply the coloured route lines without any extraneous markings or text. The third image shows a detail of the map: the extremely congested and complex Northeast Corridor.
The next five images attempt to show some of my working for a project of this scale. Once I compiled a list of all the routes and stations, I roughly plotted them on a map of the United States to see the geographical “lie of the land”. This also helped me work out where routes would sit in relation to each other to minimise line overlap on the final diagram (Images 4 and 5). Once the routes were all plotted, I removed the underlying map to view only the routes (Image 6). From here, it was a matter of straightening and simplifying the routes to the 45° angles seen on most subway maps.
EDIT: I’ve updated this map for 2012 (extension of the Downeaster to Brunswick, Maine; addition of Santa Clara University Station; a few other tweaks and edits. Prints are on sale at my Society6 store.