What's in a name


richramik@...
 

I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:
  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?


Thanks,

Rich Ramik


Schuyler Larrabee
 

"Railroad" and "Railway" are often, perhaps enough so as to say typically,
corporate name changes forced by bankruptcy. The XYZ Railroad would become
the XYZ Railway. It's a way to have "another company" take over the assets
of the bankrupt line, yet not cause a great deal of consternation among
shipper and customers. If there are other reasons for the change I am
listening intently.



I believe there is >some< rationale for "Railway" based on the origin of the
financing. English financiers were used to the term "railway" in England.
I have not done a true coincidence analysis, but I believe this was the case
in the early history of the ERIE, a railroad (or railway, maybe) largely
financed by English capital interests.



"Lines" and "System" I will leave to others. NYC partisans may have
something to offer here.



Schuyler



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 9:04 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What's in a name





I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been
thinking about for a while now. I've done some research but have not found
the rationale or reason for using the following:

* railroad
* railway
* lines
* system


What would be the reasoning for using any of the four. For example,

* Pennsylvania Railroad
* Great Northern Railway
* Southern Pacific Lines
* New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?



Thanks,

Rich Ramik


Tony Thompson
 

      Union Pacific used the term "System" in their medallion during the time that they owned a number of subsidiaries. When all were merged into a single company in 1936, they dropped the word "System," and the same might apply to other railroads which maintained separate entities under the corporate umbrella.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





A&Y Dave in MD
 

The Southern is evidence of both the English investment correlating with the use of Railway and the collection of multiple smaller organizations under one management being termed a System. All combined into the Southern Railway System.  It wasn't until the 50s that the patchwork of many of the smaller entities were merged into the primary legal entity. Even then, the CNO&TP, AGS, and the other parts of the system were never wholly one corporation.

Dave

Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

On Dec 25, 2015, at 9:41 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

      Union Pacific used the term "System" in their medallion during the time that they owned a number of subsidiaries. When all were merged into a single company in 1936, they dropped the word "System," and the same might apply to other railroads which maintained separate entities under the corporate umbrella.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

That is exactly what happened to the Yosemite Valley Railroad. After
declaring bankruptcy in 1937, it become the Yosemite Valley Railway. Knowing
that I model the line in 1939, an old railfan from the 1940-50s asked why I
didn't then model the Yosemite Valley Railway instead of the "Railroad". I
told him simply that everyone would call it by the old name and not the new
name. And the railroad itself was about the same...as they came up for
repainting, railroad crossbucks had the name on the post changed from
"Yosemite Valley RR" to "Yosemite Valley Ry". Employee timetables listed the
new name but most forms, etc. were never changed.

Jack Burgess

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 6:23 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] What's in a name

"Railroad" and "Railway" are often, perhaps enough so as to say typically,
corporate name changes forced by bankruptcy. The XYZ Railroad would become
the XYZ Railway. It's a way to have "another company" take over the assets
of the bankrupt line, yet not cause a great deal of consternation among
shipper and customers. If there are other reasons for the change I am
listening intently.



I believe there is >some< rationale for "Railway" based on the origin of the
financing. English financiers were used to the term "railway" in England.
I have not done a true coincidence analysis, but I believe this was the case
in the early history of the ERIE, a railroad (or railway, maybe) largely
financed by English capital interests.



"Lines" and "System" I will leave to others. NYC partisans may have
something to offer here.



Schuyler



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 9:04 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What's in a name





I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been
thinking about for a while now. I've done some research but have not found
the rationale or reason for using the following:

* railroad
* railway
* lines
* system


What would be the reasoning for using any of the four. For example,

* Pennsylvania Railroad
* Great Northern Railway
* Southern Pacific Lines
* New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?



Thanks,

Rich Ramik









------------------------------------
Posted by: "Schuyler Larrabee" <schuyler.larrabee@...>
------------------------------------


------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links


Bruce Smith
 

​As noted with "System", "Lines" denoted a larger corporate entity composed of multiple independent or pseudo-independent railroads or railways.  one example would be The Pennsylvania Lines, the official name of "Lines West which consisted of a number of subsidiary companies.  Much the same is true of the N.Y.C. Lines.


Regards

Bruce Smith


From: STMFC@... on behalf of richramik@... [STMFC]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 8:03 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What's in a name
 


I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:
  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?


Thanks,

Rich Ramik




Scott H. Haycock
 

May I add a fifth? How about " Air Line"?

Scott Haycock


 

I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:

  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?


Thanks,

Rich Ramik




Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Rich,

Railroad or railway was a matter of what was listed on the articles of incorporation. Many lines that went through reorganization changed from one name to another.

As for "lines" or "system", this could imply that the railway held various corporate subsidiaries, sometimes for local political reasons (the SP was quite unpopular in California before the turn of the Century), or to meet the requirements of various states. For example, Southern Pacific Lines actually included many subsidiaries which had their own articles of incorporation, including continuing the Central Pacific on paper for many, many years. The T&NO was a completely separate corporation to meet Texas requirements for all railroads to be in-state corporations. Eventually, these were all tidied up during a reorganization. The New York Central also had many component railroads, as did the PRR, in the early 20th century. To some extent, the use of "lines" or "system" was simply marketing for the public, who really didn't care much about what corporate entity owned the track on which they were riding.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 12/25/15 9:03 PM, richramik@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:

  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?


Thanks,

Rich Ramik



Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

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

On 12/26/15 4:11 AM, 'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
May I add a fifth? How about " Air Line"?

Scott Haycock


 

I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:

  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System

I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?


Thanks,

Rich Ramik





Scott H. Haycock
 

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




mwbauers
 

They  first tried to use 'straight as the crow flies’.

But that made the names too long and was too clumsy to use.

Before you dismiss that in a literal sense, it is the commonly used phrase and image that ‘Air-Line’ is meant to describe.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Dec 26, 2015, at 5:32 AM, 'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC] <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


Edward
 

The term "Air Line" was used as early as 1869 for a consortium of five railroads and related ferry services that linked New York City with Washington DC. All claimed to be double tracked at the time, a selling point for speed and presumed safety. An 8:40 AM departure at the Cortland Street ferry in New York was scheduled to arrive arrived at Washington DC by 5:20 PM in a December 30, 1869 advertisement.

This "New York and Washington Air Line Railway" consisted of the New Jersey Railroad, the Camden & Amboy, the Philadelphia  & Trenton, the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore, and the Baltimore & Ohio railroads. The first three companies were under comnmon control at the time. Eventually, they became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The PW&B would also go to the PRR.

In losing access to the PW&B and remain in the New York area freight and passenger market, B&O built a parallel rail line between Baltimore and Philadelphia. It also arrainged to reach New York via the Philadelphia & Reading as well as the Jersey Central railroads. B&O was somewhat evenly matched with PRR in the NY-DC passenger business, until Penn Station opened in 1910.

Ed Bommer


Douglas Harding
 

I have an image  of a map dated 1857 for “The Iowa Central Air Line Rail Road”, an E/W proposal which was never built.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


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





MDelvec952
 



Generally speaking the use of Railroad in a corporate name was an American term, and Railway was British. Canada, of course, followed British tradition. The incunables of railroading tended to use the term as two words, and most of the earliest railroad companies incorporated using two words. A few railroads today still retain their original corporate names; notable examples are the Long Island Rail Road and the Strasburg Rail Road. Around the time of the Civil War the term began to grow a hyphen, Rail-Road, and by the time there was a standard gauge writers began using one word, railroad. Thus, most of the Western roads and later incorporations were using one word, and a few were using railway(s). Some corporate consolidations in America used System and Lines and Railway(s). 

During the merger era and today's alphabet era anything goes for both those who incorporate new railroad names, and those who write about them. Even responsible publications today don't appear to bother with such details, and some of today's railroad owners don't understand the traditions. Language evolves, and in today's internet world where more people are "publishing" more words than ever, phrases and language will change quickly and the style-book is getting lost in the cacophony. And let's not talk about the (mis)use of type and typefaces.

Where this discussion isn't off topic is that these corporate name traditions could be seen on the sides of steam-era freight cars and the public could repeatedly see the name of the local Rail Road, Railway or System. Not so much among the miles of reporting marks roaming the rails today.

              ....Mike Del Vecchio




-----Original Message-----
From: richramik@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC
Sent: Fri, Dec 25, 2015 9:03 pm
Subject: [STMFC] What's in a name

 
I realize this is a bit off topic, but this is a question that I have been thinking about for a while now.  I've done some research but have not found the rationale or reason for using the following:
  • railroad
  • railway
  • lines
  • system

What would be the reasoning for using any of the four.  For example,
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Great Northern Railway
  • Southern Pacific Lines
  • New York Central System
I guess what I am really asking is what are the differences between them?

Thanks,
Rich Ramik


Dave Nelson
 

The Southern Pacific was the nation’s first holding company, a structure created by the Big Four to avoid personal liability should any of their owned or leased railroads default (especially the CP).  At its peak the SP owned and leased over 250 different incorporated railroads. Perhaps with the exception of the T&NO (Texas Laws for railroads were rather different) they operated all of them  as-if they were one and so the word Lines in the corporate title is perfectly explanatory to the nature of the company.  I expect the use of the word System as used by other corporations is the same.

 

SP reorganized in 1947 and got rid of most of the incorporated entities.  IIRC 1947 is the year the SP paid off the last bonds they had issued as replacements for the CP first mortgage and so its plausible the two events were related.

 

Dave Nelson

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 2:12 AM

As for "lines" or "system", this could imply that the railway held various corporate subsidiaries, sometimes for local political reasons (the SP was quite unpopular in California before the turn of the Century), or to meet the requirements of various states. For example, Southern Pacific Lines actually included many subsidiaries which had their own articles of incorporation, including continuing the Central Pacific on paper for many, many years. The T&NO was a completely separate corporation to meet Texas requirements for all railroads to be in-state corporations. Eventually, these were all tidied up during a reorganization

 


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!  

Dave

Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

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




destorzek@...
 


I suspect The use of "air line" in railroad names fell out of fashion after 1906, when the  Chicago - New York Electric Air Line Railroad was organized. Initially proposed as a high speed double track line between it's namesake cities with NO curves, NO crossings at grade, and NO gradient steeper than one half percent. This fiasco was financed entirely through stock subscription, and it has often been suggested that the scheme was little more than a stock swindle, but construction did begin in 1907. By 1911 they had completed only fifteen miles, when the costs of building a massive fill over Coffy Creek, a minor waterway, drove the company bankrupt. Several branch lines did survive to become part of Gary Railways, an electric street railway company.

More here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_%E2%80%93_New_York_Electric_Air_Line_Railroad

Dennis Storzek


richramik@...
 

I would like to thank everyone that replied to my question.  I appreciate your responses.

Happy New Year to All,
Rich Ramik