Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads     by Terry Cox

A guidebook and catalog of prices
(I neither buy nor sell stocks and bonds)

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Search the Coxrail database for descriptions of 23,700+ certificates from over 7,400 North American railroad companies.

Questionable companies

Do you know anything about these companies?

Every so often, certificates appear that look like they could have originated from rail-related companies. However, the mere appearance of trains on certificates does not mean those companies were actually involved in railroading.

Maybe you can help.

Here are companies that have caused problems. Please write if you have any reliable information about any of the mysteries that have not yet been solved.

And please, never assume someone else will contribute. Some do. But some of these mysteries have been listed here since 2000.

Let me reiterate, just because companies used trains on their certificates does NOT mean they were directly involved in railroading.

(Note: I list several "inclined plane" railroads in the list below. This is because some were definitely involved to the movement of passengers up steep terrain and associated with street and horsecar operations. Others sported fancy names, but were nothing more than amusement rides to the tops of hills. I rarely have time to research these kinds of companies and I don't have the time or inclination to debate their legitimacy. If you have an opinion about whether to consider any of these companies as "railroads" or not, simply say so. I will defer to your better information.)

If interested, please see my special listing of deceptive company names, mostly used by model railroad clubs.

The A C & Y Co.
OH This was a holding company formed in 1927 to control the outstanding capital stock of the Akron Canton & Youngstown Railway Co and the AC&Y Terminal Properties Co. The company authorized 15,000 shares and paid quarterly dividends in 1929, 1930, and the 1st quarter of 1931. One unissued two-year bond (#31) known from 1932. (1934 Poor's Manual info courtesy Willi Frei.)
Algoma Consolidated
  According to Poor's Manual, 1934, this holding company held railroad stock, apparently the Algoma Central. (Poor's info courtesy Willi Frei.
Allegheny Improvement Holding Co
NY David Adams found information in Shortline Railroads of Arkansas that suggests the company was involved in railroad construction.
Automatic Car Coupler Trust DC Certificates from this company are known dated 1928, exactly the time every company under the sun was forming trusts to hold stocks of other companies as investments. How closely was this company related to railroads?

Baltimore & Alleghany RR

  Name known from a suspicious-looking 'pass' that had wording that strongly suggested this was a model railroad. Subsequent information from David Adams included reference to the 1944 "Bendix Beam" magazine that described an elaborate model railroad by Bruce Sellman.
Black Bear Railroad PA A 1967 pass-sized ticket labeled "Good for One Ride" appeared in May, 2008. Anyone know anything about this operation.
Bowne Pneumatic Signal Co
WV Stocks certificates known (1891). David Adams confirmed from West Virginia State Archives that company was formed for "purpose of manufacturing, erecting, selling, leasing, and operating railroad signals."
B & Q Service Co Inc
NY 1932 "Car Purchase Note" known. This company was owned by, and leased rolling stock to, the Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corp. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)

The British Columbia Transport Co Ltd

BC This company does NOT seem to have been related to railroading, unless it somehow got involved in railroading after 1914. References strongly suggest this company was involved in ocean shipping because it owned "tugs, barges, and floating properties" in addition to docks along the New Westminster, BC waterfront. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Broad Top Improvement Co PA Some people think this company was related to the Broad Top Mountain Coal RR. However, this company was actually a development company that bought the land and laid out the town of Broad Top City in eastern Pennsylvania.
Brooklyn City Development Corp.
NY

The Brooklyn City Railroad Company incorporated the Brooklyn City Development Corporation for the purpose of purchasing rolling stock for it. (Info from Yale Law Journal, May 1928, courtesy of David Adams.)

California Improvement Co of Illinois
IL A train appears on this company's '190-' stock certificates. A company with this name (supposedly incorporated in New Jersey) was an irrigation company involved in the early development of the Imperial Valley of southern California. So far, it appears this company was NOT related to railroading. (See Union Pacific, vol II by Maury Klein.)
Call Switch Syndicate   1922 shares from this company are known. Was this strictly an investment company that invested in all kinds of stocks (as a huge number of companies did in the 1920s)? Or did it invest in railroad-related companies?
Cedar Hollow Lime Co
PA 1859 stock certificates show lime kilns with a train nearby. Collector Bail Watkins found a report in the History of Chester County PA by Cope & Futhey which said that the company had its own railroad that ran from its quarries in Treduffryn Township to a connection with the West Chester & Philadelphia Railroad..
Central Transportation Co
  An early competitor of Pullman Co. Pullman later acquired the company. - (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Champlain Construction Co
VT This company was incorporated by the Directors of the Rutland-Canadian Railway Company and received all shares except for directors' shares. Champlain built the Rutland-Canadian between March, 1899 and December, 1900, as well as some of the Rutland & Noyan Railway in Canada. (Info from 1927 ICC Valuation Docket, courtesy of David Adams.)
Chester & Derry Railroad Association
NH According to the 1901 Poor's Manual, this was a 7.75 mile street railway. (Poor's info courtesy Willi Frei.)
Chicago & Atchison Bridge Co
  Bridge across the Missouri River. Later sold to the Atchison & Eastern Bridge Co, which reported to the ICC as having owned tracks, but was not owned by any railroad company. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Chicago-Milwaukee Road & Realty Co
ME This company was the land-holding arm of the Chicago-Milwaukee Corp. Not directly related to railroading. (Info couresty of William Ainsworth.)
The Chicago Southern Express Co IL I strongly suspect this was an express company not directly involved in railroading. (Unissued certificates suggest the company issued stock in the 1900s-1910s.)
Chicago St Louis & Gulf Transportation Co
DE According to an article in the Dec 13, 1913 New York Times, this was a river transport company that operated on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)
Children's Iron Mountain Railroad Inc
AR 1959 stock known. A mythical "railroad." Stock was issued to help pay for maintenance of locomotive #300 in Harmon Park in Paragould, AR. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Cincinnati & Clifton Inclined Plane Railroad
OH This company is reported to have operated 1876 to 1880. Another source says it operated until 1926. The operation was also known as the 'Bellevue Incline.' I am going to assume that it was a legitimate railroad operation. (Info from Mike Nicholson.)
Cincinnati Hamilton & Dayton Corp.
OH This company owned the shares of the Cincinnati Hamilton & Dayton Railway Co. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Columbia Transportation Co
WAT An online auction seller of an 1863 Washington Territory certificate speculated in 2000 that this company was a rail and sea shipping company. It was, however, strictly a passenger/shipping company that operated out of Portland and Seattle-Tacoma. There was no rail involvement. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Compressed Air Company
  This company built traction engines that drove streetcars by compressed air. Known US operations included installations in Rome, NY, Chicago, IL, and several in New York between 1894 to 1899. (Info courtesy Pierre Mertzeisen.)
Coraopolis & Neville Island Bridge Co
PA This company built the third bridge at this location near Pittsburgh. Two previous bridges were built at each end of Neville Island in 1894 to allow a streetcar connection to the mainland. The old Sixth Street Bridge from downtown Pittsburgh was partially dismantled, floated downstream on pontoons and re-erected in this location. This company was controlled by West End Traction Co, and later Southern Traction Co and Pittsburgh Railways. While this company was owned by rail companies, it does not seem to have had any other direct rail involvement. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
The Coughlin-Sanford Switch Co
  The Coughlin-Sanford Switch Co. This company exhibited at the 1904 Universal Exhibition in St Louis among other companies lumped together as "railways, yards, stations, freight houses, and terminal facilities." Apparently this company manufactured frogs and switches. (Info courtesy David Adams.)

H.A. Davis & Co

PA Trains appear on this company's 1923 certificates. A grocery supply company by this name worked in Pennsylvania and Maryland about this time, so it seems possible that the train image was merely used generically. In the absence of contradictory information, I am assuming this company was not rail-related. (Info courtesy Neil Frampton.)
Detroit & Canada Tunnel Co
  This company does not seem to have had direct railroad involvement.(Info submitted by Pierre Merzteisen from a listing on Scripophily.com.)

Eastern Idaho Mining & Water Co

IDT An unissued stock certificate of this company has appeared sporadically. One seller suggested it was rail-related. Personally, I agree with Fred Holabird's suggestion (in his auction #22 in 2002, lot 452) that this was probably a water company located near Blackfoot, ID. David Adams found a reference to this company being an irrigation company in a report for the US Commissioner of Agriculture.

Eastern Transportation Line

NY A company by this name ran tugs in and around the port of New York according to court records involving an accidental death in the late 1870s. Not considered rail-related.
Easton & South Bethlehem Transportation Co
PA Certificates (dated '19--') have appeared occasionally in auction catalogs and dealers' lists, with descriptions saying the company was either bus-related and rail-related. While the evidence on this company is a single reference (found by David Adams), it appears that its only relationship to railroading was an agreement with Lehigh Valley Transit Co to furnish integrated bus-railway service in Allentown, PA.
Electric Depot Co
MI It seems this company handled freight for several interurbans around Detroit. It was located at 5th and Congress Streets and operated on the 1900s and 1910s. (Info courtesy David Adams. He also found reference to a company of the same name that worked in Cleveland at least from 1907-1923.)
Erie Coach Co
  Not related to railroading. This was a bus (motor coach) company that operated in Erie, PA from 1925 to 1967.
The Erie & Western Transportation Co
PA This company operated a Great Lakes shipping concern called the "Anchor Line" out of Erie, PA. Acquired by Pennsylvania RR in 1900 and closed in 1911. (Info courtesy Ed Lewis.)
The German-American West-African Railway, Trading & Colonization Company of Washington DC WV David Adams confirmed from West Virginia State Archives that this company was organized "for the purpose of purchasing, owning, and controlling all the rights, concessions and landed territory conveyed by the deed duly authenticated by the German Imperial Government of Togo, west coast of Africa..."
Governors' Creek Steam Transportation & Mining Co of North Carolina
NC In the mid 1850s, this company owned the small Egypt Coal Mine in Chatham County, NC. It seems to have been involved in shipping coal by rail prior to the Civil War. However, it seems to have been strictly a mining vompany, with no rail ownership.
Grand Trunk-Pennsylvania Transportation Co   This was a ferry company was controlled by the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. Seemingly, it was succeeded by the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Car Ferry Co. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
The Gray's Peak Scenic Development Co
CO According to Abbott's book, Stairway to the Stars, this was a holding company for the Argentine Central railroad. It was incorporated June 29, 1909. The idea was to build a hotel well above treeline in Clear Creek County, Colorado. (Info courtesy William Cannon.)
Great Lake Railways Inc   A 1929 ticket to Detroit appeared on eBay in March, 2008. There is a logo of the Great Lakes in black and in underprint. In addition to the departure and arrival information, the ticket said, "Travel the Northwest with Great Lake Railways." The ticket definitely looks genuine. David Adams (Jul, 2009) found evidence that at least one company of similar name that unsuccessfully sought to purchase a short section of track later abandoned by Conrail.

Great Western Exposition Train Co

CO

A book of unissued certificates bearing this name appeared in a large sale of mining-related stock certificates and ephemera in 2007. Since that time, it appears the book has been broken up and certificates have been selling as singles. Research by David Adams (Jun, 2008) discovered this company intended to carry and present promotional information about the West and to promote immigration.

IllinoisCalifornia Terminals Inc
IL I had guessed this company was related to airlines. It turns out it was a sub of Illinois-California Express, a motor carrier. Therefore, it is almost certain this was related to trucking, and not railroading. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)
The Illinois River Bridge Co of Havana
IL A certificate is known dated 1872. However, this was strictly a road bridge. The city of Havana collected tolls. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Incline Railway & Coal Co
IA

This company was reported to have operated at Boone IA in 1896. It turns out the "Incline" was the name of a now-abandoned place west of the Des Moines River. It seems probable that the name came from the coal company's method of getting coal down the steep-walled river valley and nothing more. Not considered a legitimate railroad operation. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)

Indiana Motor Transit Co
IN

Owned by Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern RR. Handled trailer on flat car operations, so not directly involved in railroading.(Info courtesy Pierre Merzteisen.)

Ingot & Great Western Railway CA A 1904 pass is known, co-titled "Great Western Route." "Issued account T.S. Henderson & Co Brokers." Facsimile signature of T.S. Henderson. David Adams found definite confirmation that Henderson's mining venture, Great Western Gold Company, operated a 1.5-mile private railway in Shasta County, CA. Both Google and the Geographic Names Information System confirms there was a town called Ingot in the same county. This info may be the best we'll ever find. However, I must still question, was the Ingot & Great Western Railway a real railroad company? Or was it nothing more than a fantasy name informally created by Henderson?
Inter-Railroad Coal Company
WV 1904 bonds from this company are known. Info at the West Virginia Secretary of State indicates the company was incorporated in 1902 and was involved in mining coal and manufacturing coke. ((Info courtesy David Adams.)
The International Train Pipe Corp
CO David Adams found a reference to this company in a 1928 issue of Railway Age. It appears this company was an exhibitor at the Detroit convention of the Air Brake Appliance Association and was somehow involved in air steam and signal connectors.
Iowa Valley Construction Co
IA Construction company for the Iowa Central Railroad. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Lackawanna Tunnel Co
PA

Seemingly, this company was chartered by the Lorain & West Virginia Railway Co (L&WV) to dig a tunnel under the city of Scranton. Unissued stock known from '19--'. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.) Additional research by David Adamsconfirmed that the builder was most likely the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley. The tunnel company was later owned by the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Rapid Transit Co.

Lake States & Eastern RR   A 1949 "special excursion" pass for the South Bend Transportation Club is known. Does anyone know anything about the pass or the supposed company? Was it a model railroad? Or an amusement railroad?
Lehigh & New England Terminal Ware House Co
PA A 1933 Bethlehem, PA directory listed this company as an ice company. (Info courtesy Karen Samuels.)
Lehigh Valley Transit Co
PA This company operated trolley lines throughout Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. It also operated the famous "Liberty Bell" trolley line between Allentown and Philadelphia. It converted all its lines to buses in 1953. (Info courtesy Kurt Eisentraut.)
The Liquid Air Refrigeration & Power Co
  Held a "Cold Blast" refrigeration patent. Considered too far-removed for inclusion as a railroad-related company. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Lite Rail Branch Line
PA Special Betterment Stock certificates (with famous ABN surveyor vignette) are known issued by Reading Society of Model Engineers, with a 1949 incorporation date. This "line" was actually an outdoor railroad in 7¼" and 4¾" gauges. Not a real railroad company. (Info courtesy Billy Schroer.)
Lookout Incline Railway Co
TN It appears that all incarnations of operation up Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga were legitimate rail companiea and they are included as such in the database. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
TN Funicular owned by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority and used by commuters. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Lookout Incline & Lula Lake Railway Co
TN It appears that all incarnations of operation up Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga were legitimate rail companiea and they are included as such in the database. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Louisville Bridge Co
KY Operated a bridge across the Ohio River as well as yard tracks. Now included in database. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Louisville & Jeffersonville Bridge Co
KY Operated a bridge across the Ohio River as well as yard tracks. Now included in database. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Manayunk & Roxborough Inclined Plane & Railway Co PA This company was incorporated in April 9, 1873 to construct an inclined plane rail operation in Philadelphia. It was intended to haul cars uphill from Manayunk to Roxborough by means of a stationary steam engine. It was also authorized to build additional street horse or dummy rail operations in the surrounding area. The company was authorized to 4,000 shares of $25 par stock. A couple decades later, the company made a further agreement with the city to build electric streetcar operations. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Massachusetts & New Hampshire R R & S Co
  An 1883 pass is known with this name issued to "Mill Harry Line." Collector Tom Kalinke finally discovered a reference to this operation in the Feb 4, 1886 issue of Railway Life (pg 7). The article proves the operation was a fraudulent attempt to secure free travel by promising to exchange railway passes. The official name of the company was Massachusetts & New Hampshire River Rafting and Steamboat Co. (You may see this article on Google Books.)
Merchants Despatch Transportation Co
 

This company was controlled by the New York Central and later the Penn Central Transportation Co. It owned and leased side rack cars, auto cars, Flexi-Van flat cars, locomotives, and refrigerator cars. (1973 Moody's info courtesy Willi Frei.)

Merchants & Miners Transportation Co
 

Originally listed as rail-related, more recent information indicates this was a steamship line that operated as early as 1856 between Boston and Baltimore. It later grew to a fleet of 26 ships that carried freight and passengers along the east coast as far south as Miami. (Info courtesy John Sandrock.)

Midland Improvement & Construction Co MA A North Carolina company of this name was known to have built the Midland Railway of North Carolina. (Info courtesy of David Adams.) A stock certificate of a company of the same name, but incorporated in MA, sold in a 1990 sale by Eric Boone. It is assumed, but not yet proven that this company was rail-related.
Miskin Spring Wheel Co
ID 1910 stock certificate carries a vignette of 'The Crossing', one of the most classic railroad vignettes. The company was incorporated to make automotive and baby buggie wheels. (Info from David Adams. David found that a 'spring wheel' was intended to work like a wheel with spokes made of springs. )
Mississippi Valley Company
  This company was a holding company incorporated by the Illinois Central Railroad. It owned most or all of the stock in the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad and the Sunflower & Eastern Railroad. It turns out that there was also a similar, but unrelated, company named the Mississippi Valley Corporation. It also owned stock in the Sunflower & Eastern Railroad, as well as the Helena & Northeastern Railroad. (1922 Poor's info courtesy Dale L. Flescher, PhD.)
The Montezuma Milling & Transportation Co
AZ Generic certificate from 1909 with train leaving tunnel. Any evidence that it operated a rail? David Adams confirmed my opinion that this was a mining company in Summit County (east of the Keystone Ski area). While it theoretically operated as much as 12 miles of tramway, I don't think anyone would legotimately argue that it was ever a "railroad" company.
National Equipment Leasing Corp
  A 1922 trust certificate is known, representing an agreement between this company and the B&O Railroad Co. It appears this company leased rolling stock, and is therefore somewhat rail-related.
National Express & Transportation Co
VA David Adams' research confirmed this was a short-lived express company, a competitor to Adams and Well Fargo.
National Transit Company
PA

Company incorporated in 1881 as an oil pipeline holding company for Standard Oil Company lines. Not rail-related. (1955 Moody's info courtesy Willi Frei.)

Nebraska Construction Co
NE Supposedly a majority owner of Nebraska Central Railway. (Unconfirmed so far.) David Adams' research shows that this company was listed as the rail operator for the Omaha Bridge & Terminal Railway, at least in 1898 and 1899.
New Creek Company
VA A corporation chartered to construct canals, build railroads, purchase lands, and to carry on manufacturing. A train appears on its 1864 stock certificates. It currently seems like this company is further removed from railroading than most other "construction companies." (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)

The New Jersey Elevating & Transportation Co

NJ This company operated a short incline between Weehawken Street in Weehawken NJ and Mountain Road in West Hoboken NJ from 1898 to at least 1902. It never connected with any other rail, so it is considered more of an elevator than a true railroad. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)
New York - Philadelphia Co
NJ Specimen stock certificates of this company carry a locomotive vignette. Records of lawsuits confirm that the company was a holding company for the New Jersey Short Lines Railroad Co and the Trenton & New Brunswick Railroad Co. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)
New York Transit
NY Confirmed to be a pipeline company. (Info courtesy of John Szabol.)

Ninth St. Bee Line RR Co

  An 1891 fantasy "pass" is known that seemingly promotes a tavern named "Wetville" at 315 W. 9th Street in Kansas City, MO. Information from David Adams conclusively proves the Kansas City Cable Railway operated along Ninth Street at this time, so obviously the Bee Line was not a legitimate streetcar line. I wonder whether the cable system ever had a "B Line" along Ninth? I have left images of the front and back of the item online in case you want to see it.
North River Construction Co
  Confirmed to be construction company for New York West Shore and Buffalo Railroad. (Info courtesy of James Ragas.)
North Star Construction Co
  A train appears on this company's 1893 stock certificates. David Adams' research confirmed that this company operated the Duluth & Winnipeg Terminal Co and Duluth & Winnipeg Railroad.

North Western Mining & Exchange Co of Erie, Pennsylvania

PA This company's stock certificates show a train (with company initials on side) at a coal mine. The company controlled the West Clarion RR, and was, in turn, owned by the Erie RR. It appears the company was most probably termed a coal company. (Info courtesy Mike Nickolson.)
Northwest Railway Co  

A sheet of coupons from a 5% $1000 1st mortgage bond is known from this company. Also known is a stamped envelope from the company with a New York return address, dated 1898. The coupons are serial-numbered and dated with redemption dates, but are unfortunately otherwise unnumbered, so I cannot back-calculate the bond issue date.

David Adams discovered a reference in Oct 11, 1901 Railway Age to a company with this name that laid a few miles of its 73-mi projected route between Nagle and Tramway, OR in about 1899. The company Adams discovered seems likely to have been the same company that incorporated in Oregon Feb 7, 1898. On the strength of these discoveries, I am considering this a genuine rail-related company.

Adams also unearthed reference to a "Northwestern Railroad" which became part of the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co in 1910. However, the incorporation date of that company (May 12, 1906) obviously postdates the sheet of coupons known.

Northern Indiana Transit Inc
IN Beginning in 1940, this company operated bus routes between South Bend and Elkhart, IN. The company was a successor to Northern Indiana Railway which operated streetcars and interurbans in the same geographic area. (Info courtesy Roy Manning.)
Northern Illinois Corp
IL A subsidiary of NICOR Inc., a natural gas company. Not rail-related. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Nunnery Hill Incline Plane Co
PA A certificate is known from this company. Since this company made money transporting non-tourist passengers, it is considered to be a legitimate 'railroad' company. (Info courtesy Joel Fiske.)
Ohio Valley Improvement & Contract Co
KY Kentucky construction company for the Richmond, Nicholasville, Irvine & Beattyville Railroad. Bankrupted shortly after completion of road and left sub-contractors in the lurch. (Info courtesy Eric Zabilka.)
Oregon Development Co
OR This company issued bonds with a train vignette, but it seemingly had no rail involvement. The company owned a couple of steamers, both of which sank in in the same place on the Oregon coast about a year apart. The company consequently failed. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Oro Fino Coal & Transportation Co WA A coal train appeared on 1899 stock certificates from this company. Did the company operate a railroad?
Owego & Western Railroad  

An unissued, undated pass with this name is known. It is unusual in that it required the signatures of the president and vice-president. The tagline below the company name says "Continuous Service Since 1878." If so, how come I can't find a single mention of it anywhere?

I personally think it was this a model railroad as does another collector who could never find reference to any logging railway of this name near Owego, NY.

Owensboro & Elsewhere

KY A fantasy pass is known dated 1950. It reads "Colonel Glenmore's Railroad, Owensboro & Elsewhere, O&E Division of the Glenmore Lines." David Adams found an article in the 1973 National Railway Historical Society Bulletin that indicated the operation was entirely an on-grounds, 3'-gauge switching railroad of the Glenmore Distillery.
Pacific Coast Manufacturing & Transportation Co
CA Incorporated May 31, 1884 "To manufacture and transport burning fuel, and every kind of apparatus and machinery for its use for each and every of the objects and purposes to which it can be applied within the States of California, Oregon and Nevada, and the Territories of Washington and Arizona." Charter forfeited Dec 13, 1905. Probably involved in oil transport. Info supplied by Steve Ryder from State Archive records. He said, "...nowhere in the articles does (the company) state any intention to engage in the railroad business, nor do they mention operating rail transport as an incidental business activity."
Passenger Indicator Co CT A small, bank-note size stock certificate is known dated 1874. The questions is whether this company was related to waterborne passenger service, railroad passenger service, streetcar service, or some combination. Information anyone?
The Pecos Company
NJ A specimen dated '18--' is known with a train vignette. Unknown if railroad-related. David Adams' research strongly indicated the company was organized in 1893 to construct in southeastern New Mexico the largest irrigation enterprise in the United States.
Penn Central International N.V.
  A financial or holding company owned by Penn Central Transportation Co. and incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles. Moody's (1975) did not mention any rail involvement. Does not seem to have been rail-related (Certificate known from 1972; Moody's info courtesy Willi Frei)

Penn Construction Co

PA A rail construction company at least marginally involved in building the Lynchburg & Durham, and possibly others. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Pennsylvania-Indiana General Transit Co
PA

Bus company acquired by Greyhound in 1932. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)

Pennsylvania Transportation Co
PA This was an oil transportation company. (Certificates known from 1872). (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Peoples Rapid Transit Co
NJ 1900s-1910s bus company purchased by Greyhound. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Peoples Transit Co
OH This company was a bus company, ultimately bought by Greyhound. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Phoenix Construction Co PA Was this a rail construction company? (1913)
The Piedmont Construction & Improvement Co
VA The vignette on stock certificates says "Charlottesville City & Suburban" on the side of streetcars, so I am assuming this is rail-related.
Pittsburgh New York & Chicago Construction Co
  Text on bond receipts strongly indicates this company was the construction company for the Pittsburgh New York & Chicago Railway Co. (Info courtesy of David Adams.)
The Price Hill Inclined Plane Railroad Co
OH This was an inclined plane, or funicular, or "gravity" railway that operated in Cincinnati, Ohio between 1874 and 1943. This was primarily an adjunct to the street railway and horse railway system. It was one of five funicular railways originally constructed as part of the Cincinnati transit system. (Info courtesy of Joel Fiske.)
Quebec Citadel Incline Plane
QUE A double track funicular powered by a stationary steam engine which hauled stone for building works. Operated 1823 to the 1840s. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Rahway Valley Co, Leesee
NJ This company operated the Rahway Valley Railway Co under lease for several decades after the early 1900s. (Info courtesy David Adams.) The Rahway Valley Co did not own the Railway, and so does not qualify as a holding company. However, the name was created to be so purposely close to that of the railway that it is included in the database.
Reading Society of Model Engineers PA see Lite Rail Branch Line above
Reciprocity Sugar Co
HI A vignette of a small train is known from an 1892 certificate from this company headquartered at Hana on the island of Maui. Basil Watkins found evidence that this company operated a narrow gauge line that supplied its mill at Hana.
Red Mountain Scenic Incline Ry
CO This name came from the Colorado Historical Society. However, collector Basil Watkins added new evidence that this company was probably officially named the Red Peak Scenic Railway Company. It was a funicular amusement ride near Manito uSprings, CO.
Richmond Transportation Co IN A 1908 stock certificate is known from this northern Indiana company. Did this company operate rails? Or buses?
Richmond-Washington Co
 

This company was a holding company jointly owned by the Pennsylvania, the B&O, the Atlantic Coast Line, the C&O, and the Seaboard in 1901. It was formed to simplify the complicated rail situation in the area around Washington, DC. (Info courtesy Neil Frampton who supplied excerpts from Richard Prince's book, The Richmond-Washington Line and Related Railroads.)

Roanoke Machine Works
VA The Norfolk & Western and Shenandoah Valley RR companies started this company in 1883 to produce locomotives. It became part of the Norfolk & Western in 1895 and remains in operation. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)

San Luis Valley Irrigation, Land & Power Company

CO Certificates from this company occasionally appear listed among railroad certificates. While the certificates contain an image of a train, the company was simply a land and irrigation company in the large San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. (TCox info.)
Santa Catalina Incline Ry
CA This name came from the Electric Railway Historical Society. Supposedly, this company operated from 1905 to 1915. Another source reported it also operated 1921-1923. Considered an amusment ride. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Schuylkill Transportation Co
PA

A bus company that began operation in June, 1933 in Frackville, PA. Apparently, this company had no rail service. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)

The Seaboard-Bay Line Co
  This was an ocean shipping concern, descended from the Old Bay Line Company. It was owned, however, by the Seaboard. (Info courtesy several Seaboard Coast Line enthusiasts.)
Selah Valley Co
WA
A 1897 $400 coupon bond from this company is known with train vignette at the top left. However, David Adams' research suggests it was an irrigation company referenced in the 1904 "Annual Report of Irrigation and Drainage Investigations."
Short Electric Railway Co
OH One very plain business card known with location listed as Cleveland, OH. Information courtesy of David Adams indicates this company may have been named for Sidney Short and manufactured motors and other appliances for electric railways.
Sioux Falls Traction System
SD This company was chartered in 1907. Unlike most operations that used the word 'system' for an aggregation of companies, this seems to have been the official company name. Info courtesy of David Adams.)
Skunk Hollow Junction Railway
  A stock certificate with this name was sold in Germany in 1999. It was dated 1957 and carried a tag line, "Route of the Skunks". Research by David Adams strongly suggests this was a fantasy certificate. In the "Pass Exchange" section of the Oct., 1956 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, p56, he found a listing for the "Skunk Hollow Junction Railway: Route of the Skunks, Kirchhoff Rd., Palatine, ILL." We are assuming this was a model railroad. Please contact me if you have any contradictory information.
Spanish River Pulp & Paper Mills
ONT The Algoma Eastern served this mill, but there remains no confimratory evidence that the operation had a rail operation. (Info courtesy of Basil Watkins.)
Stanislaus Central Bridge Co
CA A few stock certificate known with train, steamship, and bridge vignettes. No direct rail involvement. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
The Susquehanna Corp
  This company was a holding company and controlled the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad Co. until its abandonment in 1963. Certificates from the Susquehanna Corp. are known from the 1970s, so some question remains whether it controlled additional rail operations. (Info courtesy Dave Marshall.)
The Thompson Transit Corporation
OH Certificates from this company appear frequently at auction. I suspected this was a bus or trolley-bus system. David Adams' research found minimal reference to the company, but seemingly related to Great Lakes shipping. I am currently assuming no rail involvement.
Trans-continental Transportation Co KY An 1886 stock certificate is known from this company which sounds rail-related. Can anyone confirm rail involvement?
Transit Development Corp
NY

Photos known (about 1910) of terminal and yard operations at the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Info courtesy Paul Damon)

 

Transit Investment Corp
  Was known as Mitten Bank Securities Corp prior to 1938. Apparently unrelated to railroading. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Transportante Villarena, S.A. Cuba An unissued certificate from the mid-1940s shows a ship, train, and truck. Did this company operate rails? Or was it a shipping company?

The Trenton & Philadelphia Transportation Co

NJ Atlantic steamship company. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Turner-Beard Brake Co
KY This was a 19th century brake manufacturer and has been confirmed as being rail-related. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Tuscarora & Mohawk Valley RR   An undated, unissued pass is known. However, many novelty passes are known with fantasy names. They are quite common among model railroaders. Was this a fantasy company?
Uncanoonuc Incline Railway (no co, corp, inc)
NH A 1916 pass with this name appeared in about 2000. The company operated on Uncanoonuc Mountain near Goffstown. It appears this company qualifies as a legitimate railroad. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
Uncanoonuc Incline Railway & Development Co
NH IThis company operated the Uncanoonuc Incline Railway as well as a 2.5 mile trolley connection with the Manchester Street Railway. (Info courtesy David Adams.)
The Union Improvement & Construction Co
ME

This railroad construction company was incorporated in April 1881. It received $500,000 of common stock for the Duluth & Winnipeg Railroad for building and grading west of Duluth. The company used all the invested capial and went broke. (Info courtesy Mike Nicholson

United States Express Co
  This company was considered the third largest of the four main express companies. Thomas C. Platt was president from 1880 to 1910. The company eventually failed in 1914 because of competition and control of shipping rates. Its remaining express lines were then divided among the Adams, American and Wells Fargo express companies. Its certificates show trains, but it apparently had no direct railroad operations. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
Weeden Johnson and Co MA Several generic stock certificates of this company were sold in a collection that included certificates from the Weeden Automatic Car Fender Co of Boston. Certificate dates were not reported during the sale. It seems reasonable that the two companies were related, but not necessarily in railroading. In fact, information courtesy of David Adams strongly suggests that the company was a toy and game manufacturer in the early 1920s. (No contradictory information has emerged, so this company is currently considered unrelated to railroading. )
Wichita & Santa Fe Short Line RR
KS A stock certificate is known with this "company" name. This certificate was apparently issued in 1958 to raise money for moving and placing donated Santa Fe Railroad locomotive 3768 in McKinley Park. Outcome of that effort is unknown, but 3768 was was initially displayed at Friends' University. It then moved to Union Station in April, 1977 and from there to the Santa Fe yards. At some point, it became property of Multimedia Cable Division, which ultimately donated the engine to the Great Plains Transportation Museum in 1985. Since this was not actually an operating company, certificates are not included in this project. (Info courtesy David Adams and Terry Cox.)
Wilkes-Barre Transit Corp
PA This bus company had previously been named the Wilkes-Barre Railway Corp. No direct rail involvement. (Info courtesy Neal Greenberg.)
York Transit Company
NY

Certificates of this company appear from time to time. A high-res image from Tom Lareau shows an incorporation date of 1906 on the impressed corporate seal. David Adams' research strongly suggests this was a Great Lakes shipping concern. He discovered a War Department annual report dated Jun 30, 1908 that referenced the "York Transit Company" as being a "new line of transportation." (Part III Appendix QQ "Improvement of Rivers and Harbors in the Buffalo, New York District", page 2179)

Hundreds of companies ran rail operations in North America without using "railway" or "railroad" in their corporate names. While some operations were only a mile or two long, some were huge. Companies that are not obvious include:

  • railroad construction companies
  • lumber and timber companies
  • harbor companies
  • holding companies
  • mining companies
  • oil companies
  • steel companies
  • terminal companies
  • transit companies
  • warehouse companies

Other companies may not have operated rails, but were directly involved in railroading. Those kinds of companies included:

  • bridge companies
  • car builders
  • locomotive builders
  • lessors of rolling stock
  • switching and signaling manufacturers

Transit companies are problematic. Obviously, transit companies carried freight or passengers. But, it is often hard to determine whether they carried them on rails, buses, barges, boats, wagons, coaches, or trucks. I include transit companies only when I am reasonably certain they had DIRECT rail involvement.

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(Last updated Feb 14, 2010)

 

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