From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere
- 1885 – After reconstruction from massive flooding in 1884, the California Southern Railroad reopens its line connecting San Bernardino and National City, California, through Temecula Canyon.
- 1887 – The narrow gauge Mason and Oceana Railroad opens between Buttersville and Crystal Valley, Michigan.
- 1889 – The Manistee and Northeastern Railroad begins passenger train service.
- 1893 – Construction is completed on the Great Northern Railway's main line across the northern United States.
- 1919 – Canadian Pacific Railway begins using the Grand Trunk Central Station instead of the Broad Street Station in Ottawa for trains on the Waltham Branch.
- 1959 – Canadian National Railway receives official authorization to discontinue passenger train service on its line between Hawkesbury and Glen Robertson, Ontario.
- 1969 – Santa Fe's Super Chief passenger train derails due to unknown causes in Holcomb, Kansas.
- 1972 – Amtrak discontinues the Lake Shore passenger train service between New York City and Chicago.
- 1985 – Amtrak discontinues the Gulf Coast Limited passenger train service between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama.
- 1997 – Full freight and passenger service is restored through the Channel Tunnel, just short of two months after a devastating fire.
- 1998 – A severe ice storm begins over eastern Ontario and Quebec, Canada, that permanently disables the centralized traffic control system on Canadian National Railway's Alexandria subdivision.
- 2005 – A Norfolk Southern train carrying a few carloads of hazardous materials (including chlorine gas) collides with a parked train in Graniteville, South Carolina, causing the Graniteville train disaster.
- 2006 – China's railway minister Liu Zhijun announces a 160 billion yuan plan to begin more than 80 new railway projects, many of which are focused on high-speed rail services.
- 1854 – William N. Page, American civil engineer who built the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and the Virginian Railway, is born (d. 1932).
- 1872 – Jim Fisk, American financier who worked with Daniel Drew for control of the Erie Railroad (b. 1834).
- 1875 – Emile Péreire, founder of the southern and northern railways of Spain.
- 1901 – Philip Armour, founder of Armour and Company meat packers and subsidiary Armour Refrigerator Line refrigerator car operators (b. 1832).
- Dodge, Richard V. (1958-04-10). "The Fallbrook Line". Dispatcher (17). Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
- Railroad History Timeline - 1880's. RRHX: Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum. Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
- Transcontinental Railroad. American Western History Museum (1999). Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
- Significant dates in Ottawa railway history. Colin Churcher's Railway Pages (2007-12-16). Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
- Railroad Accident Report: Collision of Norfolk Southern Freight Train 192 With Standing Norfolk Southern Local Train P22 With Subsequent Hazardous Materials Release at Graniteville, South Carolina, January 6, 2005. United States National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on 2008-01-07.