Advice on finding railroad dumps?

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Woodsy

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New to the forum and bottle digging and look forward to learning from you all. One thing I’ve got in my mind I want to try my hand at is finding old railroad dump sites. In my area one of the oldest things to be found are the railroads. I’ve started walking them and found some neat insulators and a few odds and ends here and there. My question is are general rules of thumb to look for dump sites? Were they near the last stop before a city, in the middle of nowhere far away from cities, near water so that they could get water when dumping, etc.. I know a lot of this will be walking and probing, but curious of ideas to narrow it down some.
 

Slabbing N Cabbing

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I’d love to see the insulators you’ve found. Are the railroads that you walk still active? I feel the dump sites may be random. I am hooked on insulator hunting along Transmission/telegraph lines. But you have to respect private property, when it applies.
 

CanadianBottles

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I've found two, one was on a riverbank below a trestle (and unfortunately almost entirely washed away to the point that there was nothing of interest left apart from things too heavy to carry out) and the other in a location which is so far from anything connected to the railroads that I can't figure out why it was there. That one might have just been a railroad hotel dump rather than an actual railroad dump though, it's full of railroad china but never found anything obviously connected to trains themselves. I'd suggest looking around places where the railroad crosses rivers and ravines, that seems like the most obvious place for them to dump things. Keep an eye out for places with metal sticking out of the ground, they would have likely thrown out larger items which wouldn't have gotten buried as easily. And of course keep an eye out for masses of wire as well.
 

Woodsy

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I’d love to see the insulators you’ve found. Are the railroads that you walk still active? I feel the dump sites may be random. I am hooked on insulator hunting along Transmission/telegraph lines. But you have to respect private property, when it applies.
I can post some pictures but from what I’ve read they are more common ones. Hemingway 42, 45 & 46
 

RCO

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i've poked around various railways here but never really found any actual dumps from them . although i would come across bottles and cans , metal objects too , some insulators . alot of broken stuff but rarely anything that old

but trees would have grown in alot since the early days of the railway here so anything old well hidden

i'd imagine if the railway had a dump it have to be somewhere near the railway , they wouldn't of taken stuff that far away back then
 

PlaneDiggerCam

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New to the forum and bottle digging and look forward to learning from you all. One thing I’ve got in my mind I want to try my hand at is finding old railroad dump sites. In my area one of the oldest things to be found are the railroads. I’ve started walking them and found some neat insulators and a few odds and ends here and there. My question is are general rules of thumb to look for dump sites? Were they near the last stop before a city, in the middle of nowhere far away from cities, near water so that they could get water when dumping, etc.. I know a lot of this will be walking and probing, but curious of ideas to narrow it down some.
I'd look for areas near bridges where they'd dump off into the water. Also normally these dumps are found where trains would stop.
 

embe

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Not sure what the laws are in your area but most railway property is private and punishable by law. Especially if it's active. Not being critical, just a heads up from a safety perspective.

And I imagine most stuff tossed off trains got the old random heave-ho.
 

PlaneDiggerCam

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Not sure what the laws are in your area but most railway property is private and punishable by law. Especially if it's active. Not being critical, just a heads up from a safety perspective.

And I imagine most stuff tossed off trains got the old random heave-ho.
Definitely a good idea to check laws! If you can't dig on the land, look for any rail bridges over creeks in your area, creekwalk the creeks near the bridges as stuff would be pitched into the water.
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

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Trestle is a spot frequently used. I know of one in N.Y. it is inactive but still there, it runs across a major swamp estuary. Some of the stickiest mud I've ever ran in to. Loads of bottles, china and loads of old brick. Great spot for after storms. Always stuff sticking out of the bank. Where I used to live, some people threw their garbage over the fence onto the railroad property. They even grew vegetable gardens. Used it like it was theirs. Usually nothing in them. I don't like being behind houses anyway. I feel odd in creeks behind houses also, maybe just me but I respect their privacy even if I have every right to be where I am. Where I go there is a dirt access road that runs right along side the tracks. People use it all the time traveling miles up and down the river. There are parks to have lunch off of it and boat launches. Always traffic or people walking there. So not really frowned upon if I snoop around I figured. Try that in N.J. and I bet they call the police on you in 2 seconds flat. Be safe and good luck.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

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