Saturday, May 17, 2014

Railroad Names and Labels

When I visited the SantaFe Railroad Bridge in Lemont, I knew those tracks had been owned by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and were now owned by the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. But when I saw the tracks up the hill in Lemont, I knew they had been owned by GM&O and then ICG, but I do not know what railroad currently owns them. But I really don't need to know who owns the tracks now because I was planning on using the names I learned in my childhood like New York Central and Pennsylvania. But I don't have a good reference for for the 1950s. So I'm going to use the names that are in my 1928 Railroad Atlas. Many of the 1928 names were still the same as my childhood because the consolidations of the 19th century were done and the demise of railroads because of the airplane and better roads of the 1960s had not started However, there was some churn of ownership due to the Depression so the GM&O tracks were owned by the Chicago and Alton Railroad in 1928.

Another naming issue is the labels. I want something that is relatively short, easy to remember, and just letters. The last criteria rules out CB&Q for the Burlington Route. But I wanted to use that instead of Burlington because it is shorter. So I'm adopting the convention of using a lower case "a" for an ampersand.

Update: In the beginning, most railroads I encountered touched Chicago. I started using rrMisc for those that didn't. Over the years, I started getting a lot of rrMisc railroads. So I started assigning labels to groups or types of railroads. In addition to 1928 railroad specific labels, I now have:
  • rrAbandoned
  • rrAmtrak
  • rrAlphaEast   RDG+CNJ+L&HR+NYNH&H, east part of the Alphabet Route.
  • rrAlphaWest   W&LE+P&LE+WM, west part of the Alphabet Route. (NKP is not included because it has its own label)
  • rrBN   Every railroad that became part of BN except CB&Q, which already had a label
  • rrCanadian   CN and CP. Later, I started using it for KCS as well.
  • rrCaNW includes Minneapolis & St. Louis even though it wasn't acquired until 1960.
  • rrCommuter  This is a very new label so a lot of notes are missing it.
  • rrEast   east of the Appalachian Mountains except for DL&W, which uses rrErie because of their merger. Also excluded are the "Alphabet" railroads: RDG+CNJ+L&HR+NYNH&H+W&LE+P&LE+WM.  For example, Boston & Maine, Boston & Albany, Maine Central and Delaware & Hudson.
  • rrErie   also includes Delaware, Lackawanna & Western
  • rrFallen   this is used for freight cars that still have a "Fallen Flag" railroad logo
  • rrIndustrial   very short lines that serve one or a few tightly grouped industry
  • rrInterurban   This also includes rapid transit ("L" & light rail) and streetcars
  • rrLines    The railroads that became the SCL and then the Seaboard System Railroad, except L&N, which has its own label. Notably ACL, SAL and Clinchfield
  • rrNaW   This includes the Virginian (VGN)
  • rrNew   Typically, a shortline
  • rrOther   will replace rrMisc for "none of the above" when I'm done partitioning the rrMisc label
  • rrPanhandle and rrPennIndustrial    rrPenn was becoming so ubiquitous that I divided that group.
  • rrTerminal   a terminal railroad such as the
  • rrUPnew   railroads that became part of today's UP except for UP and MoPac. Notably SP, DG&RW and Cotton Belt. 
  • rrTourist
Some of these labels are quite new because I plan to reassign rrMisc to these labels.

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