Re: What's in a name


Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Scott,

I suspect it meant a straight route without any meandering around hills and such.

Here's part of a story from the WESTERN RAILROADER issue 296 by H.W. Fabing entitled "San Juan Pacific Railway; California Central Railroad". The SJPRY (later CCRR) was an 8-mile shortline built in 1907 from Chittenden to San Juan Bautista south of Watsonville to serve a cement plant.

'The route as surveyed offered little difficulty in construction except that it bisected several small ranches whose owners demanded a higher price for a right-of-way than offered. One farmer in particular, Luke Feeny, a retired Southern Pacific section foreman, asked why the route wasn't surveyed through the larger ranches instead of the smaller ranches. "Oh," said the engineer, "we want to come on an airline." "The hell you do," said the farmer, "If you don't know how to put in a curve, begad I will do it for you myself." He maintained the San Juan Pacific was nothing but a spur of the Southern Pacific and was being used to get a right-of-way cheaper.'

There it is "Air Line"--right through somebody else's property in the name of ease of construction.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 12/26/15 6:32 AM, 'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
Garth,

I pretty much knew that it implied a faster, more direct route, being a SAL modeler.

I was wondering, though, since "Air Line" predates commercial air travel ( I think I've read of roads incorporating this into there name around the turn of the last century), where did the phrase come from? 

Scott Haycock


 

Scott,

Likely pure marketing in most cases, since it implies a straight (and faster) route from points A to B. For example, the 30-(or so) mile Virginia Air Line was a C&O subsidiary which provided a short-cut between their James River route and their Mountain Division in central Virginia. This was designed to speed large amounts of coal to Washington and avoid extra miles and yard time in Richmond. Why it was incorporated as a separate company is beyond me.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff




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