Another Stupid Question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Woodie, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Why are US railroads always called the Something AND Otherthing. Why always the two names. Was it a "from/to" thing?

  2. michael l

    michael l Member


    hey that is a good question...
    youe guess is probably right...

    chicago, burlington and quincy
    boston and maine
    chicago and northwestern
    louisville and nashville
    spokane, portland and seattle

    but remember these no "and" railroads..

    southern pacific
    northern pacific
    great northern
    union pacific
    milwaukee road

  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    A lot of early railroads in this country were named for the city/town/state where it started and the city/town/state it hopefully reached.

    Another thing early eastern roads liked to do was add & Pacific even if they ran north and south. [​IMG]

    Catt! NARA#1 & A freelancer for life:D:D
  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    They still do - check out the CRANDIC (Cedar Rapids and Iowa City) web pages at (especially if you're looking to buy a used 1':12" scale diesel loco!)

    Bill K
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey, us folks down South have (or had [​IMG]) a few too -
    Southern Ry.
    Florida East Coast (close, but no "and")
    Atlantic Coast Line
    Seaboard Air Line
    Illinois Central (yes, they did cross the Mason Dixon)
    Central of Georgia
    Mississippi Central
    Missouri Pacific
    - just to name a few.
  6. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Hey Woodie, Ain't no such a thing as a stupid question. [​IMG]

    Catt! NARA#1 & A freelancer for life:D:D
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    And of course, the best railroad of all time, the New York Central. And runner up Erie.

  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Yeah.... non of then are single words. The only one so far is Erie. (and what does that mean) Lake Erie?????

  9. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    There's a city in Pennsylvania named Erie.

    The Missouri Pacific was built with the intention of eventually connecting the eastern railroads to the Pacific Coast. It started in St. Louis, Missouri. I don't believe they ever made it (at least under the Missouri Pacific name). Mopac (as it is often called) was assimilated by the mean, they were bought by Union Pacific.

    So, yeah, most of the names describe major cities services by the railroad, or the general area of the railroad. Florida East Coast ran on the east coast of...Florida! [​IMG] (Incidentally, FEC was the line that ran through the Florida Keys. Much of it was over the ocean!)

    I've toyed with the idea of creating the Teneha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair (TTB&B) which are real towns in northeast Texas that were served in some form or another by Houston East and West Texas (HE&WT). Crapshooters would say, "Teneha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair" when they wanted to roll a certain combination on the dice (double fives, I think). Tex Ritter wrote a song that had something to do with the phrase, but I've never heard it... Anyway, there is a lot of modelling potential there...logging, livestock, passengers...

  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I suppose it all can be likened to the American traidition of qualifying place names with the state or country too. eg. Los Angeles, California. (Where else would it be??? hehehehe) or London, England Or Hobokin, New Jersey (Now that could be no where else!!) In Aus, we do not qualify names like that. If anything in may be Nar Nar Goon "IN" VIctoria. So therefore it is just Victorian Railways or Trans-Australian Railiway (no Co. as there were all Gov't owned.) Just a single name. Hence my layout name "Garahbara Railiways", whereas you guys in the US have multiple names to your layouts.

    e.g. I am from "Sydney". Just "Sydney". Not "Sydney, New South Wales".

    If there are places of the same name in different states, we would refer to it as "Richmond, the one just north of Sydney" or "Richmond in Melbourne"

    Just and interesting moot point of discussion I suppose!

  11. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    Here is some interesting historical facts about the Rock Island Railroad. The one I'm modelling.

    The state of Illinois wanted a railroad to reach the Mississippi River. They wanted it to go from La Salle, IL, then the state capital to now what is Rock Island, IL.

    However, with the rapid grouth of Chicago. The state decided to go from Chicago to Rock Island first. Hence the Rock Island and Chicago Railroad was born.

    When Congress put the race into effect over the first transcontiental railroad. The Rock Island teamed up with Union Pacific! However, they were not the first railroad to do it. They where the second.

    So those who see old passenger tickets, booklets, and other stuff from The Rock. That's why it will be labelled as The Chicago-Rock Island-Union Pacific Railroads.

    Here is a link for more info. Quit a history. Like I said before. My hometown played an important role in the growth of the United States Westward.


    Did you know that there was a big court battle over the railroads wanting to cross the Mississippi River? The steam boats had control. A very young Abarham Lincon was the attorny for the Rock Island Railroad!

    Info provided by the Rock Island Technical Society.
  12. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Woodie, You started this off with names including "and" and now you're changing it to names with just one word?! But o.k., there are still a lot of candidates. In addition to the Erie and the Southern (mentioned by Charlie) there are the awful Pennsylvania, the Reading, the Rutland, the Monon, the Wabash and the Virginian. I'm sure there are others, anyone care to add to the list?

  13. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Boy oh Boy! How many railroads where there!! 50 states, suppose there were more than 50 railroads! [​IMG] I've got 5 states to work with. Names associated with each state only. Northern Territory (not a state anyway & doesn't have any railroad (until next year)). Tasmania shut their's down years ago (But just started one up again) I suppose Victoria (size of UK) had one of the largest railroads in the world. 150 suburban stations, and more the 300 rural stops at it's height. The 150 Suburban stations are still there, but it's down to about 15 rural stops now. The rest have been closed.

    Does anyone know the height of the number of railroad companies in the US? HOw many were there?


    PS. Think I'll move this to "general discussion"

    [This message has been edited by Woodie (edited 07-19-2001).]
  14. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    In the early days of American Railroads. Every town wanted a train to go throgh it. What they would do is get to gether with a nieghboring town and build a railroad. Sometimes this could be hundreds of miles away. When the very large railroads came though, they would buy these small one and just add their names! This is what the Rock Island did and many others. Saves time and money in laying tracks! [​IMG]

    One more thing Woodie. I live in a very small town of Edgar, Wisconsin. Back in the mid to late 1800's, they had their own logging railroad!

  15. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    To answer your question. What time peroid of American History are you looking at?

    The early day, there was few. The American Civil War saw the importance of railroads.

    The number of railroads skyrocketed after the war. There was never a cenus on how many, but it was said in the thousands!

    By the 20th Centry, the very large railroads bought out or closed down the small ones. The large railroads ran well throught World War I and II. After WWII, that was the decine of American Railroads. President Esinhower want the interstate system installed in the US. He got this idea from Hitler, beleve it or not!

    So today, there are a hand full of American railroads. The only operating passenger service is Amtrak. With over crowded airports and highways, maybe the consideration of high speed rail will bring some of the good ol' days of American Railroads back.

  16. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Henry Ford & Harvey Firestone had a lot more to do with the decline in American railroads than did the Interstate Highway Act. By the time construction began on interstate highways in the 50's (this was a project that went on for 20 years), many RR's were already on the slippery slope.
    In fact, if you want to cite federal highway programs, you need to go back to the 1930's, when FDR created the WPA, & CCC works projects. These succeeded in the span of a few years to put paved roads all over the rural U.S., making "ghosts" of many small RR's. This also provided people with jobs, & a reason to purchase the products of Mr. Ford & Mr. Firestone.
  17. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    I'm glad somebody mentioned VIRGINIAN...I was starting to feel forgotten!! [​IMG]

    Railroad names are a big part of the whole mystique, I think....and the letters that represent them!!B&O,C&O, N&W, AT&SF, NYC (which of course, also signigfies 'The City')NKP, SP,UP, AMTRAC(oops, how'd that get in there???)...etc., etc. A few 'ands' indicate 'mergers'...though it seems the modern trend is to drop 'and' altogether, hense, the late 1800's/early 1900's, it was "Norfolk And Southern"
    And of course, we are a quirky people, with a quirky language, history and customs...seems only right our railroads should follow suit!
    Bye y'all

    Oh, I forgot the reason I replied in the first place....woodie, a wise person once said, "There are no stupid Questions, only stupid answerers" Hope my reply doesn't fall into the latter category [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by Virginian (edited 07-19-2001).]
  18. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I think I ought to add my two farthings worth to this conversation if we are talking railroads in our "hometowns". I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa a true "railroad town". Abraham Lincoln stood on the bluffs there and declared CB to be the eastern terminus of the transcontinental railroad (Union Pacific). One of the great names associated with the western expansion of the railroads was Grenville Dodge, from Council Bluffs, who served during the US Civil War as the great railroad builder for U.S. Grant.

    Much has changed since Lincoln was there and the time I grew up there. When I lived there CB served as the terminus/division point for the Union Pacific (UP), Chicago Northwestern (CNW), Illinois Central(IC), Chicago Great Western (CGW), Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific(CRI&P), The Milwaukee Road (MIL)and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CBQ).

    It was great fun as a kid to be able to see and of the interesting a varied equipment used by these railroads. It was also great fun to have the opportunity to ride on the various streamliners from time to time.
  19. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Boy, I know I'm getting old when I forgot one of the railroads that came into my home town, and after all the discussion about railroads with just one name! How about the Wabash!! [​IMG]

  20. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    My Grandfather and I use to fish in your hometown! I am from Moline, Illinois. I know what you mean. As a little boy, I watched the trains go through.


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