From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere
- January 17 – The Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad opens, connecting Zion and Marlette, Michigan.
- February 16 – The Selma, Marion and Memphis Railroad is purchased by the Memphis, Selma and Brunwsick Railroad, a predecessor of the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham Railroad.
- February 17 – The first train operates between Norwood, and Lebanon, Ohio, on the Cincinnati Northern Railway.
- March 14 – The Pittsburg, Bridgeford and Buffalo Railroad is organized in Pennsylvania to construct a new railroad connecting Foxburg to Karns.
- December 19 – Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad completes construction from Marquette to St. Ignace.
- Railroad History Timeline - 1880's. RRHX: Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum. Retrieved on 2008-01-17.
- Corporate History: Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad Company. The Truman Area Community Network (2005-12-20). Retrieved on 2008-02-13.
- Morris, J. C. (1902-12-31). “1870's”, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.