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Places in Atlas Shrugged

This page aims to consolidate dozens of one-paragraph place descriptions into a single page. It is still very much a work in progress.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

Places in Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged (in alphabetical order):

Algeria: In section 152, we learn Francisco d'Anconia threw a party at an Algerian desert resort where he gave away an ermine coat to any woman who undressed in step with the melting of ice sculptures.

Andes: Francisco d'Anconia has a villa in the Andes. This is mentioned in section 141. Sebastian d'Anconia's first estate in the New World was a shack in the foothills of the Andes (section 152).

Argentina: Argentina is the home of Francisco d'Anconia and the ancestral home of his family. Sebastian d'Anconia fled to Argentina to escape the Inquisition.
  • Argentina is mentioned in sections 132 and 152.

Arizona: Arizona is the home of the Phoenix-Durango railroad.

Arizona is mentioned in sections 111, 146 and 171.

Atlantic Ocean: The Atlantic Ocean is mentioned in section 161. It is where Ragnar Danneskjold is active as a pirate.

Bar Harbor: Bar Harbor is a city in Maine that is mentioned in section 161 as a place where Ragnar Danneskjold has been spotted.

Buenos Aries: The home of the d'Anconia estate and the residence of Francisco's Father.

California: Hank Rearden has business concerns on California. In section 121 Lillian Rearden asks Rearden to promise he won't be in California on the night of December 10.

Cheyenne Wyoming: Cheyenne, Wyoming is the northern terminus of the Rio Norte Line.

It is mentioned in sections 111 and 171.

Chicago: Dagny Taggart passes through Chicago while returning from an inspection of the Rio Norte Line in section 112. In section 171 we learn Dagny flew to Chicago to take over Summit Casting which had gone bankrupt before delivering parts needed for the Rio Norte Line.

Chile: Francisco d'Anconia owns extensive mining properties in Chile. Chile is mentioned in section 132.


Cleveland is mentioned in sections 111, 114, 133 and 152.

Colorado: Colorado is the home of Wyatt Oil and the state with the most vigorous economy in the beginning of Atlas Shrugged. It is served by Taggart Transcontinental's collapsing Rio Norte Line. It is also the location of Galt's Gulch.

Colorado is mentioned in sections 111, 114, 145, 146, 147, 148, 161 and 171.

Connecticut: The home of Amalgamated Switch and Signal.

Connecticut is mentioned in section 171.

Delaware Bay: An inlet of the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey and Delaware - in section 161 it is mentioned as a place where Ragnar Danneskjold has been spotted.

Denver: The home of Barton and Jones.

Mentioned in section 171.

Detroit: Hank Rearden knows a contractor in Detroit who is interested in buying Rearden Metal.

Detroit is mentioned in section 161.

El Paso, Texas: El Paso, Texas is the southern terminus of the Rio Norte Line. Francisco d'Anconia was in El Paso at the time Mrs. Gilbert Vail claimed he was with her in the Andes.

El Paso is mentioned in sections 111 and 152.

England: The People's State of England is mentioned in section 161. Ragnar Danneskjold's ship is said to be better than any in the English navy.

Europe: In Atlas Shrugged, Europe has declined faster than the United States and has become an economic wasteland. For the most part, countries in Europe are mentioned only in the context of a relief ship being sent there, usually one that has been seized by Ragnar Danneskjold.

Europe is mentioned in section 161.

Fifth Avenue: A street in downtown New York. In section 111, Eddie Willers walks down Fifth Avenue on his way to the Taggart Transcontinental building.

France: The People's State of France was to receive a large ship of relief supplies from the United States, but this ship was seized by Ragnar Danneskjold. This is mentioned in section 161.

Hudson River: Dagny Taggart's childhood home was located in the hills overlooking The Hudson River. The home is also said to be five miles from Rockdale, though the actual Rockdale, NY is more like one hundred miles from the Hudson River.

It is mentioned in sections 111 and 152.

Illinois: The home of Summit Casting.

Illinois is mentioned in section 171.

Lake Michigan: Ore is shipped across Lake Michigan. However the ships used to transport it are growing so old that the shipping lanes are dying. Paul Larkin cuts a deal with James Taggart to ship his ore by rail, which drives the Lake Michigan shippers out of existence, and makes Larkin dependent on Taggart.

Louisiana: Eddie Willers finds a wood-burning locomotive in Louisiana which is used to run trains on the San Sebastian Line. This is mentioned in section 132.

Madrid: In section 152 a young Francisco d'Anconia mentions he spent a winter in Madrid with the Duke of Alba.

Maine: Maine is mentioned in passing in section 161. Someone is complaining about the sense of forebodding she has whenever it is dark, as if the daylight will never return. Another woman says her cousin in Maine feels the same way. The conversation then turns to Ragnar Danneskjold, who has been seen off the coast of Maine.

Mexico: Mexico, formally the People's State of Mexico, is a poor, corrupt third-world nation. It is the home of the San Sebastian Mines and of Taggart Transcontinental's San Sebastian Line. After millions of investment dollars are poured into these projects, they are nationalized by the Mexican government.

Mexico is mentioned in sections 111, 131, 132, 142, 143, 151 and 152.

Mexico City: Jules Mott is Taggart Transcontinental's representative in Mexico City.

Mexico City is mentioned in sections 142 and 143.

Middle West: Nathaniel Taggart is rumoured to have killed a state legislator from the Middle West. Supposedly the legislator had sold short shares of Taggart's railroad, and was using his power in the state government to drive the railroad into bankruptcy. This is mentioned in section 132.

Minnesota: Minnesota was the location of Hank Rearden's first job, working in the iron mines at age 14. He continues to hold business concerns there. In section 171 Rearden lies to Dagny Taggart about going to Minnesota so he doesn't have to fly with her to New York.

Minnesota is mentioned in sections 121 and 171.

Montana: The location of Francisco d'Anconia's first job with d'Anconia Copper.

It is mentioned in section 152.

Nantucket: Nantucket is an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, Ragnar Danneskjold has been spotted there.

Nantucket is mentioned in section 161.

New Jersey: New Jersey is the home of United Locomotive Works.

New Jersey is mentioned in section 141.

New Mexico: New Mexico is a state where the Phoenix-Durango has successfully obtained the freight business that formerly went to the Rio Norte Line. After the passage of the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule the Phoenix-Durango is forced to abandon operations in New Mexico, as well as in Colorado.

New Mexico is mentioned in sections 111 and 146.

New York: New York is the home of Taggart Transcontinental and the scene of much of the action in Atlas Shrugged. New York is treated as the cultural and intellectual center of the United States.

It appears in sections 111, 113, 114, 141, 152, 161, 162 and 171.

Norway: The People's State of Norway was the home of Ragnar Danneskjold, who can no longer return there because they have put a million-dollar price on his head.

It is mentioned in section 161.

Ohio: In section 112, Dagny Taggart decides to appoint Owen Kellogg as the new head of Taggart Transcontinental's Ohio Division.

Ohio is mentioned in sections 112 and 114.

Pennsylvania: Home of Rearden Steel. A newspaper ridiculed Rearden for starting a steel company, claiming "The historical cycle of steelmaking in Pennsylvania is running down."

Philadelphia: Philadelphia is the home of Hank Rearden and Rearden Steel.

Philadelphia is mentioned in sections 114 and 121.

Portugal: The People's State of Portugal is another country that is offering a reward for the capture of Ragnar Danneskjold.

It is mentioned in section 161.

Redding: In section 121 Philip Rearden mentions visiting Redding. It is not clear which Redding this is, possible Redding, Connecticut.

Rockdale: A town near the Taggart estate in upstate New York. Dagny Taggart had her first position working for Taggart Transcontinental at the Rockdale Station, when she was 16. The Taggart estate overlooks the Hudson River. Rockport, we are told, is five miles from the estate. The actual town of Rockport, New York is more like 100 miles from the Hudson River.

San Francisco: San Francisco is the western terminus of Taggart Transcontinental. It is mentioned in section 111.

Scotland: Scotland is mentioned in section 161. Someone reports that Ragnar Danneskjold's ship had been spotted there.

Spain: Spain is the ancestral home of the d'Anconias. Sebastian d'Anconia fled Spain to escape the Inquisition.

This is mentioned in section 152.

Turkey: The People's State of Turkey is another country that is offering a reward for the capture of Ragnar Danneskjold.

It is mentioned in section 161.

United States: The United States is the setting of Atlas Shrugged. While almost every other nation has become a socialist "People's State", the United States remains the last country with some semblance of a free economy. This is rapidly changing, and the book follows the United States as it gradually beomes a "People's State" itself.

(This point is unconfirmed): In the novel, the United States is not referred to as America.

The United States is mentioned in section 132.

Valparaiso: In section 152 the harbor of Valparaiso is mentioned as a location for one of Francisco d'Anconia's parties. At this party, the guests wore bathing suits, and were showered with champagne throughout the night.

Washington: Washington is the seat of the government of the United States. Throughout Atlas Shrugged it is portrayed as a corrupt center of bureaucratic looters. Many directives that effect the plot are issued from Washington, but little to none of the book's action occurs there.

Washington is mentioned in sections 121, 131, 132, 143 and 161.

Wilmington: In section 121 Philip Rearden mentions visiting Wilmington. Presumably this is Wilmington, Delaware.

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