How Do You Name Your Railroads?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cannonball, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Sorry... I know I ask too many questions but this really has me curious. How do you name your railraods? Do you name them after actual railraods or just make up a name? If you make them up, what do you base it on?
  2. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    This is an easy one to answer. I just went through all of this....

    Naming a railroad is hard. Generally, city names are involved. My first connected two cities, Wauseon and Norwalk, so it was called the Wauseon & Norwalk Railroad. You'll find that's the case in prototypical practice too. Most real railroads are named for a geographic location, city, or both. You'll often see directional references like northern, southern, central as well.

    In my mind, a made up name has to sound "railroady". I can't remember who coined that term here on The Gauge, but it's a good one! In other words, it has to have a ring to it. New York, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad...there's a mouthful! It's easy to see why the nickname, Nickel Plate Road, was used more often.
  3. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    I named my model railroad after a real railroad. The Chessie System Railroad. My dad used to work for the B&O section of the Chessie on the Johnstown, Pa Branchline & that is why I had chosen to pick that railroad.:D
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    My HO logging line is a generic railroad of the 1920-30 period. Since its in a local museum, I chose to name it the Cold Lake Lumber Company. We have a large and very cold lake here that had several logging lines feeding timber into the lake for waterborne shipment to the mills on the lake. My upcoming On30 layout will be a tongue-in-cheek modular layout and will be the Dulsaw & Rustiacs Tie & Timber Co.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    My railroad is going to be a make believe branchline, named the Nomad Valley And Skookum Creek. I chose nomad because i imagine my railroad wandering, and skookum creek because I like the name.
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    So it's pretty much whatever the heck you want to call it then....
  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    It's your railroad, call it what ya' want.
  8. stripes

    stripes Member

    Chessie here too!

    I also model the Chessie System! Now if you get into what you name your town or city, thats a totally different matter. I named it Potterville after the movie, and it is a sleazy little dump with more bars per square foot than all the pubs in Ireland LOL
  9. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I'm going with BN/BNSF...I've always like thier colors.

  10. kokoracer

    kokoracer Member

    My two RRs, The Ames Ridge and the Ware River Line are local tributes. The Ames Manufacturing company was a large employer in Chicopee for many years. They produced a variety of items including small arms. The Ware River Line is named after a small town just north of the Palmer Mass. area.

  11. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    That is cool David. I am going to go with real towns on mine. I am modeling the coal country of the chessie system. Always had a love for those coal trains.:D
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Mine is Canadian National, but the subdivision is fictional - Marlpost. It is named after the fictional town I am building, which in turn gets its name from my grandfather's old house.

  13. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    First, I wanted to do something in the era of the old west. Second, when I thought about a name for my cowtown, Tombstone and Redemption were taken so I came up with Defiance. I was watching BTTF III and all the stereotypical bad western movies came to mind. The deal clincher was Mrs. Doc's maiden name is Bovee. Thus the Bovee And Defiance (BAD) Western was born.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    My Columbus & Hocking Valley is named after the original C&HV with a twist..Its a modern short line set in 1984-1985.My Huron River is a modern short line set in 2004/2005.Both short lines are own by CDB Industries that owns 8 short lines.
    I also collect C&O,Chessie(c&o),NS and have several short line locomotives.



    The HR is named after the Huron River and operates between Huron and Barberton..I chose this area because I wanted a small short line operation set in the middle of nowhere that serves several small towns,a larger city (Barberton) and a Lake Port...Huron.We served Continental Grain located in Huron by line hauling unit grain trains off the CSX at Barberton to Continental Grain for transloading to lake freighters.
  15. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    Growing up in Madison Wisconsin is what inspired me to create what I saw and wanted in a layout. Not being of the ' Rivet Counter ' persuasion, I created my own road.

    The Madison Central of Wisconsin M.C.o.W. R.R.

    It was nicknamed the MadCoW by employees stemming from an inside joke from when I worked for the Wisconsin Southern. We would tell new hires that the cows near the tracks would attack anyone who was walking near them. Of course this was timed just before he had to get off the train to do some switching.................:D

  16. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I model C&O, B&O, D&H, N&W, Clinchfield, Long Island, WP, and SP&S. I run these trains on the club layout, and on the modular layout.
    My "home road", was the Sagaponack & Montauk. When Sag Harbor Shipbuilding and DryDock Company bought out the line, it was renamed Sagaponack Montauk, and Cindys Harbor. (this reflects my first connection with the coast of Maine, Cundys Harbor, and trying to include my wife, Cindy, in the hobby) The Shipyard, SHS&D runs a 3' gauge industrial line which expanded to a general freight hauler.
    The shipyard then purchased a failing lumber line, Shinnecock Hills Lumber Company. Anyone who has ever been to Shinnecock Hills, N.Y. knows the joke here, there aren't many trees in them hills!
    The most recent purchase, another narrow gauge line goes back to my love of the Maine coast. The Wiscasset Bucksport & Schoodic Point is a 30" gauge general freight hauler, which has opened a branch line up to Cindys Harbor. The shipyard now has track, or trackage rights, from Montauk Point, N.Y. to Schoodic Point, Me., and runs, currently, steam era standard gauge, and narrow gauge trains, hauling "nuiscance loads", or light loads, on subcontract from the northeastern lines. On those portions of the road that are owned by the shipyard, there are "Fan Spots", paid access to the lines more scenic areas, where railfans can take pictures of steam operated railroading, up close, and personal.
  17. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm creating a fictional shortline to interchange with my Penn Central themed layout. I call it the Kings Port & Western. The town of Kings Port on my layout is (very) loosely based on the real community of Kingston, NY where branches of the formal NYC and later the PC would head off from the River Division on the west side of the Hudson River. The KP&W is inspired by one of those branch lines to the west so I only needed to use the city name and the direction of travel from the interchange to get a railroad identity.

  18. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    That's easy..Rock Island, Rock Island, Rock Island with a touch of Southern. How did I come up with that? Well, I am from Moline, Illinois. The Rock Island had an very important role there. The Rock Island built the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi in Rock Island, Illinois. Abe Lincon was their lawyer when the river boat companies tried to sue the Rock Island. So Rock Island is rich in history. The Southern because my Grandpa was an engineer for them. My personal history!


    Attached Files:

  19. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    The C&O all the way. My grandfather, Uncle, Great Uncle, Cousin all retires from C&O. I was born in Huntington Wv. Childhood along the Logan division. So what else is there. That's all I know. Some of my friends run short lines such as PRR, SF & UP. I also have a short line on my RR that I named J&M. I have 2 sons Jon & Michael need I say more?
  20. Alan Bickley

    Alan Bickley Member

    This is a very interesting thread. Being in the UK, the only fictitious railways could only be based on preserved or small, privately operated lines away from the main rail network. But since the advent of the privatisation of British Rail in the 1990's, there have been many train operating companies (TOC's) that have come on the scene. Personally, I based my home layout on a private line that was like a preserved line (Steam trains, and the like) but on a larger, more commercial scale. I now have plans for a container terminal jointly operated by the local rail company and a local road transport firm, known as Central Cargo.

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