The Underground Railroad was not a real railroad. It is in no way associated with any kind of train or tracks. Also, the Underground Railroad was not underground. It was an organized network of routes that helped slaves escape from slavery to freedom in the 1800’s that were described using railroad terms. ‘Passengers’ were runaway slaves fleeing from the South. Their guides were called ‘conductors’ and they led them from one ‘station’ to another.
Escape routes stretched from the southern slave states into the North and on to Canada. Fugitives usually traveled secretly at night, and were hidden in ‘safe houses’, barns, and haylofts in the day. Thousands of antislavery campaigners, both black and white, risked their lives to operate the railway, and it operated for many years before and during the Civil War.