Re: What's in a name

A&Y Dave in MD

I have seen it used to include rail and water combined routes too. The idea they were conveying was pure marketing--whether parcel or person, you will be conveyed via the most direct route from point A to point B over land and water as if gliding on air. As with all marketing, it rarely lived up to the image described.

If I'm not mistaken, but without easy means to check my memory, I recall reading about an air line involving stage coaches as well as rail and water at the Postal Museum in DC near Union Station. As we know now, even the realization of riding in the air via a current "airline" isn't all that much better in reality than being conveyed in a cattle car in 1930!  


Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

On Dec 26, 2015, at 6:32 AM, 'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:



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



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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