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  1. #1
    May 2009
    46 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Abandoned Railroads?

    Hello All!

    I have yet to purchase a metal detector. I've been watching others detect on the beach here in Wildwood, NJ and it's giving me detecting fever!

    I searched for and found numerous historical maps. They show abandoned railroads. One in particular has been abandoned for a long long time. It can be seen on a map dated 1872. Much of the old RR is now just dirt roads going thru woods. There it little to no drivng on the roads.

    Being that there were very few roads to take people to the beach I'm thinking the old RR would be a good place to detect.

    Your opinions?

  2. #2
    Scotland, Aye !!

    Oct 2004
    N. San Diego area (Pic of my two best 'finds'; son and grandson)
    Minelab Explorer
    8751 times
    Research and History
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    I'd bet the rails, crossties and spikes have disappeared long ago; but if you can find where the stations were, you prospects would improve.

  3. #3

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    8481 times
    Banner Finds (4)


    mackaydon is correct: Simply going along old RR tracks will be unfruitful. You have to hunt where people got off and on, milled about, recreated, spent $$, camped/walked, etc....

  4. #4
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them. New Garrett Ca
    3957 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    This would be a great place to hunt as you never know what you could find. There are railroad spikes that are fun to collect too. Good luck.
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

  5. #5

    May 2005
    31 times
    Might want to try for some, "Date Nails"
    Even if the railroad ties are now gone or rotted away.

    Date Nail Info

    have a good un....
    Last edited by SHERMANVILLE ILLINOIS; Apr 09, 2012 at 12:30 PM.
    In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club rooms many cigar butts.

  6. #6
    Scotland, Aye !!

    Oct 2004
    N. San Diego area (Pic of my two best 'finds'; son and grandson)
    Minelab Explorer
    8751 times
    Research and History
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    Parallel to the railbeds may have run telephone lines. If so, insulators might still be found.
    Old aerial photos might show where the stations and the telephone lines were.
    Last edited by Mackaydon; Apr 09, 2012 at 12:17 PM.

  7. #7
    Son of Eagles

    Mar 2010
    Minelab SE PRO, Garrett AT Pro, Teknetics Delta 4000, Ace 250, BH Tracker IV
    439 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I hunted what used to be a very busy RR yard until the early 70's and it turned out to be the single, most annoying place that I've ever tried to hunt as of yet. It was impossible to put the coil down and NOT get a trash signal. There was just no getting away from it. Whatever excitement I had soon turned to disappointment BUT this may have been due to the fact that all of the tracks were pulled out and buildings, fences and who knows what else torn down which I'm positive produced the majority of the trash that's in the ground. I'm sure it would be a much better place to hunt if everything was still intact.

  8. #8
    May 2009
    46 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Mackaydon View Post
    I'd bet the rails, crossties and spikes have disappeared long ago; but if you can find where the stations were, you prospects would improve.
    Mackaydon - There was another map that showed a few stations. I'm going to have to find it again. I took a rids to where the old tracks cross roads. There are not phone lines that I could see unless they are underground.

    Wit - I can see your point. There were only a few roads to the beach back then. I'm thinking that many could have walked the tracks, hopped the train, maybe locals walked the line too?

    SI - The date nails look cool. Thanks for the link!

  9. #9
    Aug 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
    White's Vision, White's 6000DI Pro
    52 times
    There were a couple folks on here that hunted RR tracks and had some good finds. Apparently the old locks on the switches are very collectable. Been a few years but they had some significant finds.

    I tried for permission to detect an area owned by Norfolk & Southern that was gated off. Had an old town there and was an original settlement and trading post before that...plus the remains of a viaduct for the canal is still there. Got a big, fat NO! They talked of liability because where the old foundations were, there was stll an active line. But I wanted to detect the areas where the old lines had been dug out.

    Look for some of the hobo camps, old water-filling stations if they are that old, random house foundations along the lines, etc.
    Just keep an eye for pig iron infested areas. Can't detect through that at all and areas that may have slag fill like around here...that'll drive your detector nuts.

    I think...therefore I am.

  10. #10

    Apr 2011
    Butte City, Montana
    ace 250/garret pinpointer, garret AT Gold
    1446 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Please be very careful! I used to "haunt" some very old railroads here near Butte Montana looking for bottles and other cool stuff..(found some neat stuff) but here recently the railroad companies that still acctually own them, alltho no longer in use are prosicuting anyone trespassing to the FULL extent of the law! Due to many recent large thefts of copper wire. They dont mess around here anymore! I used to walk alot of railroads to fish the Jefferson river, and I used to have a spot where I panned gold, which was also near the Jefferson river and is on railroad property, and was kicked off with a VERY stern warning. They even shut off access to a popular hiking trail that has been there for years up Maud S. Canyon on the East Ridge of Butte because it crosses railroad land. They since then have worked out a deal with the forest service to keep the trail open, but have put up signs and gates detouring anyone from getting on the tracks or near the area of them, AND they have workers who patrol the tracks to keep tresspassers off them. I dont know how the laws are in your state, but you may want to check to be sure! Not trying to discourage you, just wouldnt want you to get into any trouble if you dont have to get into any!

  11. #11
    Bill Jones

    May 2007
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Multiple Tesoros and Whites
    648 times
    Metal Detecting
    IAMZIM'S warning sounds like it's an ACTIVE railroad property. Old, abandoned lines should be worth a try, especially at areas such as mentioned above. Like any possible site, you won't really know until you give it a try. I have one in mind that I haven't as yet tried, but intend to in the future.



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