Internet Horology Club 185
Writings on Trains

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May 25, 2006, 21:21
Stephanie O'Neil
Writings on Trains
I found a little interest recently while in Foley, Alabama with regard to writings on trains.

Take a look!

May 25, 2006, 21:23
Stephanie O'Neil

May 25, 2006, 21:24
Stephanie O'Neil
One more

May 25, 2006, 21:27
Stephanie O'Neil
Can one decipher last pic?

Feel free to add to this thread.

Stephanie O'Neil

May 26, 2006, 11:44
Larry K. Burwell

The "Frisco" was formed in 1876 as the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, went through a couple of bankruptcies and became the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad in 1916 until 1980 when it was acquired by the Burlington Northern Route (which is now the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe. Railroads often went through bankruptcy and could reorganize with just changing an "&" sign to a dash (-) in their name or the word railway to railroad to become a new company.

L & N stands for Louisville & Nashville Railroad and this railroad is now part of the Seaboard System.

On the boxcar--"CAPY" is for capacity or maximum total weight. "LD LT" is the designated load limit for the car (just over capacity total amount). "LT WT" is for light weight or empty weight of the car before loading. It also looks like they ran out of the "5" stencils and used upside-down "2's" in lettering the car!

American railroading began in 1826 and there has been over 7,300 different railroads by name in this country since the beginning. This nation's rail network reached its peak in the early 1920's.

Hope this helps answer your train-watching!

Best regards,
May 27, 2006, 12:14
Stephanie O'Neil
Hi Larry B,
Great information! Thanks so much.

Would it be standard operation to advertise other railways on a box car, i.e. Louisville & Nashville railroad advertising St. Louis & San Franciso Railway on their box car?

Intersting notation of stencil # upside switch! Thanks Larry!

Let's get this thread rolling. Show interesting box cars in your area with "Writings on Trains"!

Stephanie O'Neil

May 28, 2006, 10:01
Larry K. Burwell
Hello Stephanie,

You asked: "Would it be standard operation to advertise other railways on a boxcar, i.e. Louisville & Nashville Railroad advertising St. Louis & San Francisco Railway on their boxcar?"

The answer is that will not happen as it would be "like putting a Chevrolet emblem on a Ford." Railroads are fiercely proud of their own heritage and highly competitive with other railroads serving the same areas.

I have, however, seen old Penn Central logo painted cars with a "NYC" or "PRR" lettering in small size remaining on one end. This is because the New York Central and Pennsylvania Rail Road was a merger in 1968 and this marking shows the origin of each of their cars. (Penn Central then became the government's Conrail project in 1976 which was split between Norfolk Southern and CSX in the 90's). For that reason, the few major railroads of today (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern-Sante Fe in the West and Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation in the East) will often not worry about repainting cars that carry the former logo of smaller lines they have bought out or absorbed within.

A warning should be stated that railroads are private property with their own police system that has become more active against trespassing since 9-11, due to the threat of terrorism (and accidents). However, with today's cameras and their "zoom" properties, I see no reason why cars could not be photographed from a reasonable distance off the railroad's right-of-way without objection. There are many train-watchers out there.

May 30, 2006, 08:43
Ged Pitchford
Hello, I , maybe mistakenly thought it was all "AMTRAK" now, is that not so. My eldest daughter caught a train from Denver to Idaho and swore a Butterfly overtook the train, While waiting at a station for a train she asked at the station ticket office about the time of the next train, and was told "When You SEE It, Its Arrived". She learnt that Freight has priority and that the passenger trains had to adjust their speed to allow the freight through as a massive amount of the lines are single track only. Our train service gets a lot of Flak but our daughter says never again on Amtrak. Regards, Ged.
May 30, 2006, 14:32
Mark Cross
With the exception of a few short lines, that's absolutely correct on Amtrack being 'all there is'. They are literally 'allowed' to travel via contract with the rail line their schedules are set on, and as your daughter was told, are at the mercy of the freight schedule running at any given time.

As they said on the movie 'Pirates of the Carribean' regarding the 'code' paraphrase and substitute the word 'train schedule' in the place of the word 'code'...."They're more of a guideline." Roll Eyes Smile

Yep, the US passenger train service is a shoddy mess now, and was allowed to get that way over a 50 year period.

Regards! Mark
January 02, 2007, 00:35
Norman Bliss
Just to clarify this for Ged, Amtrak runs the national passenger service, but it doesn't own the rails. For the most part it has to operate over privately owned railroads, whose main interest is moving freight. Amtrak does own some trackage, such as the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston (except for the tracks between New York & New Haven CT, which belong to Metro-North communter RR), and on those tracks the shoe is on the other foot. What remains of freight service on that line has to dodge the Amtrak trains.

September 02, 2007, 22:32
Julian J. Smith
I also took two rides on Amtrak.My first and last.
After waiting three hours for the train in Cary NC to go to Charlotte NC, when I did get on, it lost another hour in about 165 miles to be four hours late in Charlotte.
Never again.
J Smith
September 03, 2007, 13:20
David Abbe
This discussion brings to mind the hundreds of B & W photos of Locomotives, RR Cars, Cabooses, and trackage mechanics that I took around the RR Yards of Minneapolis-St Paul when I was a kid in the mid-late 40's.

The markings and mechanics were profound for a young kid.(Only eclipsed once by sitting in a B-17 cockpit and working the controls in 1946.)

Seeing a HUUUUGE 4-6-6-4 articulated Locomotive coming through pulling a mile++ long string of RR cars loaded with grain and materials for the long haul across the barren prairies and awesome Montana Rocky mountains was enough for my imagination to run riot. (Who needed TV?) Sort of like finding God on earth!

Little did I know that I was in great danger! The war was over, right?

November 19, 2007, 11:41
Elijah Glenn Howell, III
That is a GREAT picture! Did you take that as a child, and follow it up with a stint at Time/ Life?
Awesome, especially if you were a kid taking that picture.

Glenn Howell