Scarce late-19th-century mapping of the Chicago Western Railway, one of the many railways that made its home in Chicago at the time.
The route, which heads westward from Chicago before bifurcating in Oelewan, Iowa, has two terminuses in Minneapolis and Kansas City. This triad-shaped route gives the route its name, the "Maple Leaf Route," which is depicted on the cover of the folding map. Routes onwards from the tree terminuses act as veins, feeding the leaf.
The map colors routes that compete with the Chicago Great Western more faintly than it does routes that connect with it. In addition, the Great Western's route runs dead straight, given the route the illusion of being shorter. Timetables are published on the verso.