I always like to see “fallen flag” rail cars in a train. A fallen flag is a rail car or locomotive still decorated for a railway that doesn’t exist any more. Examples below include the Chicago & Northwestern, SOO Line, Burlington Northern, and the Milwaukee Road. These were railways that went bankrupt or were merged into other railways, and are no longer known by these names.
Here are some “fallen flags” and a few producer cars as well. I believe a lot of these cars, if not all, are in potash service now instead of grain service. I saw them on a couple of CP trains one morning.
Chicago & Northwestern
Note the “BAD DOOR” painted on one of the three doors on the bottom of the car…
The ex Chicago & Northwestern cars can be spotted by the logo that persists on the side – either “Chicago and North Western System” or “NorthWestern – Employee Owned”. Here’s the logo from the car above, shown beside a clearer and older logo I saw on a car in Chatham, Ontario in September 2012.
I like how they kept the same logo design when the company was sold to its employees in 1972 (to stave off bankruptcy, I believe). In the end, the CNW was acquired by Union Pacific in April 1995.
There are a fair number of green Burlington Northern cars rolling around still. BN merged with Santa Fe on the last day of 1996 and became today’s BNSF. BN itself was formed by merging the CB&Q, Great Northern, Northern Pacific and the Spokane, Portland & Seattle in 1970. (family tree).
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, shortened to MKT, was often known as the “Katy” for obvious reasons. I don’t see many MKT cars but the big letters are hard to miss. The Katy was another railway acquired by Union Pacific, in 1988.
The Milwaukee Road
I see quite a few Milwaukee Road cars around Winnipeg. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific was commonly known by the shorter “Milwaukee Road” moniker and was a very ambitious east-west railroad. One of the more unique aspects of the Milwaukee Road was its decision to electrify portions of its route through the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades. The railroad was eventually sold off in pieces. You can read all about it here.
I saw two different SOO Line cars on that day in April. I won’t get into the differences between the cars, since I covered SOO Line cars back in February 2018.
Quite a few grain cars were/are held by farmer’s co-operatives in Canada and the USA. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Alberta Wheat Pool cars were well known in Canada and the US had their own co-operative owned cars. Here are a few examples I saw in April.
Above is AEX 25418, a former Farmer’s Co-Op Grain Association car from Benedict, Nebraska. According to this, the company dissolved in 1983.
The car above is a former Farmland Industries car, now lettered for CP. The Farmland Industries co-operative was very large in its time. It declared bankruptcy in 2002.
This car is lettered for Wellens & Company but bears the PLCX reporting mark now. Wellens & Company still exists but I guess they don’t own this car any more.
I’ll end with this very banged-up car of indeterminate origin, heading off to the scrapper. It has seen better days…
Just One More Thing
If you like fallen flags, you’ll probably like these posts!