Railroad company logos, 1845-2000


14 Responses to “Railroad company logos, 1845-2000”

  1. Mark N. says:

    To fill in some gaps, here are the logos for Illinois Central Railroad. This covers from their inception all the way till they were purchased by Canadian National.

  2. Really incredible how much better the turn of the century stuff is compared to post WWII.

    • benher says:

      I’ve always wondered that myself – Why do all logos, image characters, and graphic design in general suddenly turn to “boring” en masse following the 50s?

  3. Paul Renault says:

    They all kinda melt into the same undifferentiated genera until you hit Alan Fleming’s design for the Canadian National Railway, in the shape of a train – the beginning of modernity.

  4. Robert Holmen says:

    I love the CSX 1986 logo.  It’s like something from a UPA cartoon of the 1950′s.

  5. penguinchris says:

    Coincidentally, a few minutes ago I was arranging my collection of pins & such and came across two railroad company logo pins I forgot I had, including a Canadian Pacific one (a slight variation of the 1946 logo seen at the link, not the superior older one seen here). I don’t remember where I got them – it must have been back in high school.

  6. tas121790 says:

    The CSX logo is brand new. 

  7. baronkarza says:

    …Don’t call it Frisco, baby…

  8. petsounds says:

    0) Someone on that page clarified that railroad logos are called ‘heralds’.
    1) Strange that the Northern Pacific Railway (1900) uses the yin-yang symbol as a central element. Anyone know the story behind that? Were Chinese workers involved with this rail line?
    2) I didn’t realize Rock Island Line was a real railroad. I’d only heard the Lead Belly (and Johnny Cash) song. Seems that it covered some of the mid-west from Missouri and Illinois down to Texas and Louisiana.

  9. drowse03 says:

    The Frisco logo is now used by the city of Frisco, TX which is where the railroad got the name. It’s emblazoned onto street signs, cars and water towers there

  10. zuben says:

    So, were vector fonts created in 1960?

    Does anyone know what “via Luray Caverns” signifies in the Shenandoah Valley Route’s logo (or herald)? Seemed like there were a few logos which touted natural wonders. I’m assuming those railroads offered passenger service?

    Also was surprised to learn that there are still 11 major railroads left in Canada and USA. I imagine that someday soon, the CNUPBNSF will decide to shorten its name to a single Unicode symbol.

  11. Ryan Lenethen says:

    More importantly… Who is John Galt?

  12. Symbiote says:

    I came across this blog about London railways yesterday, and the news that Blackfriars Railway Bridge has been restored.  There isn’t a good close-up picture of the whole (set of?) “cartouche(s?)”.

    From here but I found the source.

  13. Mike Sisk says:

    Actually, the name Frisco came about as an easy contraction of the full name of the railroad: Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway. The town was actually named for the railroad.

    The logo here looks a bit stretched. Back in the mid 90′s I drew the logo in AutoCAD from the original Frisco blueprints. I found ‘em in my archive and uploaded them to an S3 bucket for all to see in splendid early web style: http://frisco.watch4rocks.com

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