Railroad Milestones Since 1945 - A Tool for Modelers.
We've all had timeline questions. "I model 1975, is it accurate to have Chessie cars in my fleet?"; "Were ice
reefers still used in 1968?"; "I model Wabash in the steam era, is this PRR boxcar with the 'shadow keystone' logo in my
era?" We have assembled this chronological list of important events in railroading to address questions such as these. The list
is split into three groups, Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Flags. Locomotives includes dieselization and major changes
to paint schemes, locomotive introductions, and when electric operations ended on major lines. Rolling Stock includes changes in
standards, operations and designs, and major changes in painting styles. Flags addresses railroad company mergers, spinoffs,
abandonments, and major changes to company image that affect locomotives AND rolling stock. While certainly not comprehensive,
we have tried to include the most important events that would affect modeling an accurate time frame. If you have an idea for something
that you think should be included on this list, drop Craig a line at Craig@bluford-shops.com with the event and the year that it occurred.
Steam outnumbers diesels 10 to 1.
Temiskaming & Northern Ontario becomes Ontario Northland.
Pere Marquette merges into C&O.
Chicago & Alton RR merges into GM&O.
Sumpter Valley, 3' gauge line in Oregon shuts down.
Narrow gauge New Foundland Railway is acquired by CN.
Nickel Plate Road acquires Wheeling & Lake Erie.
GM&O ends steam operations (first Class One railroad to do so.)
ET&WNC "Tweetsie" narrow gauge line abandoned.
Steam outnumbers diesels 2 to 1.
Rio Grande Southern shuts down.
Pacific Great Eastern reaches CN in Prince George, BC - 1st rail connection.
UP introduces 4-truck turbines.
M-K-T, New Haven, Frisco, Texas & Pacific end steam operations.
Pacific Electric sells remaining passenger business.
Rock Island, Cotton Belt, Wabash, Western Pacific, Seaboard Air Line end steam operations.
"The Milwaukee Road" appears in rectangle logo instead of "Chicago Milwaukee St.Paul & Pacific."
McGinnis image hits the New Haven.
Erie, Southern, Western Maryland, Atlantic Coast Line end steam operations.
Quebec North Shore & Labrador completed.
McGinnis image hits the Boston & Maine.
Milwaukee Road, Soo Line, Missouri Pacific end steam operations.
Diesels outnumber steam 4 to 1.
Airslide hoppers, 75' TOFC flats introduced.
ACL cars with large "COAST LINE" in logo first appear.
Allied Full Cushion trucks are banned from interchange.
Average train length: 66 cars.
Chicago Indianapolis & Louisville makes Monon their official name. Reporting marks change from CIL to MON.
Daytime headlights now mandatory.
Last coal trains run on the East Broad Top.
Chesapeake & Ohio, Chicago & North Western, Reading, Spokane Portland & Seattle, Rio Grande (standard gauge), Illinois
Central (mainline), Southern Pacific (regular freight) end steam operations.
Nickel Plate STILL runs TOFC behind steam.
EMD Aerotrains introduced.
UP adopts 20" UNION PACIFIC lettering.
GN switches from boxcar red to vermilion.
Rock Island adopts block style lettering with shield logo.
Pere Marquette takes delivery of first post war streamliner.
Roller Bearing trucks begin to appear on freight cars but use spreads very slowly.
Gothic lettering replaces Roman on Atlantic Coast Line.
Atlantic Coast Line adds Prismo reflector stripes to freight cars.
Pennsylvania replaces circle-keystone with shadow-keystone logo.
Northern Pacific adopts 48" logo for boxcars.
B&O adds "Linking 13 Great States With The Nation" to their Capital Dome logo.
Large "B&O" appears on many hoppers & gons.
Wellsville Addison & Galeton appears.
Santa Fe begins replacing The Map with "Ship and Travel Santa Fe all the way" on one side of steel boxcars.
Southern switches from black to green on freight service diesels.
Cars with truss rods banned from interchange.
Bangor & Aroostook introduces "State of Maine" paint scheme.
Erie introduces 6' diamond on boxcars.
C&O pushes "For Progress" below the "O" and smoothes out the smoke trail.
MStP&SSteM adopts billboard SOO LINE.
CP launches TOFC service in Canada.
White Pass & Yukon switches to containerized freight.
Mandatory re-weigh periods go from every 30 months to every 4 years.
Boxcars, reefers and stock cars must be reweighed 30 months after delivery, then every 2 years after that.
Bluford Shops products are not intended for children under 14.
Denver & Salt Lake merges into D&RGW.