Railroad Companies

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Woodie, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    The mind boggles!!

    How many railroad companies ARE there in the US? The mind boggles! And if they're all now made up of mergers/acquisitions, then how many were there at the peak???

    The ABC & D railroad through to the WXY & Z Railroad. Think I'll start up my own and just call it Alphabet Railways! :eek: :eek:

    BTW..... did the Atkinson Topeka & Santa Fe really exist? Or did the Andrews Sisters spend half their life changing trains?? :)
  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Yes Woodie the AT&SF really did exist ,and still does. It now has a new name though .The AT&SF is now known as The Big New Santa Fe,or BNSF
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict


    Catt, I thought it meant Burlington Northern & Sante Fe - another merger

    Woodie, there were probably Thousands of Road Names in existance from the late 1800's to the 1960's. Just figure, that any 2 towns that wanted to build a railroad, could. Then they named them for the towns.

    Now there are less than 500, due to abandoned rails, and mergers. Most "abandons" were due to manufacturers using trucks instead of trains. Thus, if a company ran a railroad (see below) and the company went out of business, the railroad name was lost too. This led to sidings of main railroads being abandoned. Most were quarrys, and factory mergers that consolidated their shipping depts, so the buildings were sold off.

    Just off the top of my head, Railroads named: Burlington Northern & Sante Fe, Wawa & Concordville, Baltimore & Ohio, Pennsylvania (Called also: Pennsy or PRR), Atlantic Seaboard, Reading, Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, Durango & Silverton, Erie, New York Central, Chicago & North Western -- These, for the most part, all cities in the US, the railroads existed during the years mentioned above, but this is only a drop in the bucket....

    Then you also had manufacturing companies that had "Road Names" - Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Baldwin, Lima, Climax, General Electric, NASA, and so on, they all had/have their own little railroads, for moving their products "on the premisis" to get it to the main rails for shipping & receiving.

    BTW - Atchison and Topeka are in Kansas, & Santa Fe is in New Mexico. :)

    If you have any more questions, please ask!! That's a great question! :) :cool:

    If anyone wants to add to this list, lets get something else started. List your local abandoned or operating roads. (Wawa & Concordville is mine, abandoned in the early '70s - it went between the 2 towns it was named for in PA)
  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Huntsville, Texas isn't a classic railroad town, but even they had a railway. The Huntsville Branch Railway was constructed in 1871 to connect with the Houston and Great Northern Railroad. The H&GN wanted Huntsville to pony up the cash to build their line through town, but the city refused and built the branchline for less money.

    About a year later, the H&GN bought the Huntsville Branchline Railway. H&GN later sold its track to the International & Great Northern. The I&GN was briefly controlled by Jay Gould's Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company (aka, The Katy). The I&GN was later acquired by the Missouri Pacific (Mopac). And the Mopac was purchased by the Union Pacific.

    Almost all of the track in town has been taken up, but the branchline still serves a few businesses.

    Ah, the ebb and flow of American railroads!

  5. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    It's all very complex from my position here 5,000 miles away.
    But I like to read your dissertations. (I'm being educated)

    N Gauger, I had a quiet chuckle to myself when you said the Wawa & Concordia is your line. Yesterday I was pondering a name for my freelance layout, I wanted Washee Central and would have had a hog's head as it's emblem. BUT .... then I considered the lettering on my locos .. WC RR. Well, my modelling isn't all that good but it has to be better than a toilet :D :D .

    I had been looking at RR maps around 1860 -1900, geee the USA was plastered with roads like eastern freeways. Now, alas, there are very few individual roads. I'm just glad I chose the BN as my line coz now I can run almost anything except Florida and Gorgia names.

    Heck, am I rabbiting on again? :) ... Sorry. (My wife sugests I shut up and give you other guys a chance) ... Hmmm, am I THAT bad? :( .

  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    With in a 100 mile radius of Bryson City more railroads then I can list here. To name a few:
    Carolina & East Tenn.
    Tenn. & Carolina
    Western Carolina & East Tenn.
    Snowbird Logging Co.
    Graham County
    Tallulah Falls
    L & N
    Danville & Richmond
    Georgia Central
    Hazel Creek Logging Co.
    Great Smoky Mtn.
    Western North Carolina
    Perley-Crockett Lumber
    Charleston, Blue Ridge & Chattanooga
    Etc. so on and so forth:D
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  8. If y'all want to see the over 350 Current freight railroads in the USA, go to http://www.aslrra.org and click on "Who we serve", then click on "railroads" and you can get them, and their websites, if they have them, by state or beginning letter of their name.
  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Gregg -- Awesome!!!!:D :cool: :D :cool: :D :cool:
  10. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    All of this is well and good, but let's get the first one right. It is the ATCHISON Topeka and Santa Fe!

  11. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Hey guys, don't forget the Wisconsin Central, Wisconsin Southern, Green Bay & Western, Twin Cities Western, Algoma Central Soo Line, Milwaukee Road you want me to stop now!!:eek:
  12. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I just had another thought, I know two thoughts in less than an hour something huh, out of all the railroads past and present in northern have of the U.S. I think the Canadians own about 1/3 of them now!:eek:
  13. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Did anyone mention that despite (or because of) all the mergers there are a lot of new railroads cropping up? Lots of the bits of railroad that get chopped off or rendered redundant become short lines. (within twenty miles of here are the Orangeville & Brampton and the Goderich & Exeter). Lots of these short lines getting together under large corporate organizations; they're just not connected.
  15. RI541

    RI541 Member

    I got:

    Boston & Maine gone
    Bangor & Aroostock gone
    SpringField Terminal gone
    Central Vermont gone

    New England Central
    Green Mountain RR
    Vermont Railway

    There are some more that are gone and some still here but I dont keep up with them.

    And my all time favoredist The Rock Island and La Salle Rail Road Company now known and loved by few The Chicago Rock Island and Pacific
  16. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Makes it easier for us!

    Just thought I'd give a brief history or railway names in Australia.

    Before 1901, Australia was 6 separate colonies of the British Empire. Each governed separately, and controlled by the Poms, with the British Monarch as Head of State of each colony. The British Monarchs of the time, apponited a "Governor" of each colony as The Monarch's representative. The British Monarch appointing the Governor of each state still exists today.

    The very early railways were "railway companies", however this did not last very long with each colony's government "nationalising" the railways and each colony's government ran the railways of each colony. Each colony also chose it's own guage as well. So each railway was know by the name of the colony eg. New South Wales Government Railways, or Victorian Railways, Queensland Government Railways etc. So there were effectively only 6 railway "companies" (government owned and run).
    Along came 1901 and "Federation", when the 6 colonies formed the country of "Australia". Still a British colony, however amalgamated into one colony. The Head of State (Governor General) still being appointed by the British Monarch (and this still exists today too). Around 1920/30 the east/west link (Adelaide/Perth) was taken over by the Federal Government, hence the "Commonwealth Railways" came into existence. The concept of separate railway still existed, and no rollingstock/locos crossed into the other's territory. Mainly becuase of the change of guage at the state borders. This system existed until the mid 60's, when "standard" guage became accepted as a national guage, and the line for the NSW border to Melbourne was upgraded to "dual" guage (standard and broad) to allow straight through running from Sydney to Melbourne. Only rollingstock went all the way through, with loco/crew changes at the borders.

    Around the late 70's early 80's some of the state governments split the operations into freight and passengers and had a namechange from the "government railways" hence "Staterail" (NSW), V/Line (Victoria etc) Westrail (Western Australia). Still, only 7 railways overall, (well 6 really) as they closed the whole railway system in Tasmania.

    The late 80's saw a further slit in operations into freight, country passengers and suburban passengers, and major government investment in the railways to bring them up to scratch (still running 70 year old passenger suburban stock etc).

    The late 80's early 90's also saw some privatisation of some aspects of the railways of each state. The rollingstock was sold off (in Victoria, to a Dutch company) and leased back by the Government. But still, no new names for the railways.

    A bit later in the 80's saw some of the long distance (interstate) freight operation sold off and some of the "railway companies" were formed. (wholly owned by the government, or "joint ventures") with the governments holding the controlling interest.
    Names such as "Freight Australia" and "Great Southern Railiway" and "FreightCorp" (NSW) came into exisitence. Most of these operations were "joint operations" between the state governments, so nothing new was implemented, just the creation of a few more railroad "entities". These "entities" were just the rollingstock/locos, not the tracks themselves, which have now been sold off to "holding/joint venture" companies. One or two disused lines around the country have been reopened in the last few years and prvate companies are now running some passenger services, with leased rollingstock from the state governments. West Coast Railway in Vctoria is an example of this.
    So as you can see, I come from a completely different background of railway history and roadnames, and still, there would be no more that half a dozen or so "railway companies" in Australia, with the state governments holding the major interests. And also none of the "West East & North" railroad, or "Up Down and Sideways" railroad names.


    here to see who runs what and where, including ALL timetables, rollingstock and roadnames, logo's and liveries.

    Hope this makes interesting reading :D
  17. gromit

    gromit New Member

    Minor Railroads

    I grew up in a little town in New Jersey that once had it's own railroad, the Tuckerton Railroad. It extended several towns north and west of Tuckerton and onto Long Beach Island. So if you consider the number of similar localized railroads that were not connected to the nationwide track networks, I can see how there were thousands of them.
  18. RI541

    RI541 Member


    Thats a long story but an uncomplicated one. I doubt there would be enough room on The-Guage ( no offence ) to list all and every railroad, mergers, bankruptcies, ect .

    Sounds like OZ is orginized but a little out dated as to getting everything to the same gauge.But you seem to be working on it.:) :)
  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    When you were naming off Wisconsin railroads, you forgot " The Dinky". Here in illinois there was;
    Cairo & St. Louis Railroad
    Chicago, Millington & Western
    Danville, Olney, & Ohio River Railroad
    Fulton county Narrow gauge railway
    Havanna, Rantoul & Eastern Railroad
    Moline & Southeastern railroad
    Springfield, Effingham & Southeastern Railway
    Toledo, Cincinati & St. Louis Railroad
    Toledo, Texas & Rio Grande Railroad.

    That, by the way, is just the Narrow Gauge railroads.
  20. bobrien

    bobrien Member

    Hey ! we got one !

    It's called NZR - New Zealand Railways

    :D :D :D :D :D :D

    (that's excluding all the little private touristy type ones of course...)

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