Imported from: Google Blogger site
Original publish date: January 31, 2009
Updated to: January 2, 2023

Railroad system maps on certificates

Many collectors are familiar with a long-running series of stock certificates from the Illinois Central Railroad. Counting color, denomination, and capital changes, there are currently 15 varieties and sub-varieties recorded between 1883 and 1947, much more than any other company.

As of this date, some form of route map is known on the fronts of 29 railroad company certificates. Maps are known on the backs of an unknown number of additional companies.

While one might think companies would have decorated their certificates with system maps more extensively, we must remember that maps would have offered little security against counterfeiting. Even crude vignettes of human forms are harder to counterfeit than simple line maps.

Another reason we see so few route maps is that railroad companies were constantly modifying their systems. Their systems were in a constant state of flux as their built new lines, abandoned others and bought and sold companies with connecting lines.

Here is a list of companies known to have used line maps on their certificates:

Alaska Central Railway Co (stocks)
Boston & New York Air Line Rail Road Co (stocks)
Boston Winthrop & Shore Railroad Co (stocks)
Burlington & Missouri River Railroad (Rail Road) Co (receipts)
California Pacific Rail Road Co (stocks)
Canada Southern Railway Co (bonds)
The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co (stocks)
Chicago & Canada Southern Railway Co (bonds)
Eastern Railway Co of Minnesota (bonds)
Estados Unidos de Mexico (Ferrocarril Nacional de Tehuantepec aid bonds)
Florida Atlantic & Gulf Central Rail Road Co (bonds)
The Gulf & Inter-State Railway Co (bonds)
Illinois Central Rail Road Co (stocks)
Interborough Rapid Transit Co (stocks)
Jacksonville Traction Co (stocks)
Manhattan Railway Co (stocks)
Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Rail-Road Co (bonds)
The Mississippi & Atlantic Rail Road Co (bonds)
The New York Central Railroad Co (bonds)
New York & Coney Island Railroad Co (stocks)
The New York Elevated Rail Road Co (stocks)
New York Ontario & Western Railway Co (stocks)
Norfolk & Western Railroad Co (bonds)
Portland Cable Railway Co (bonds)
Rochester Charlotte & Manitou Railroad Co (bonds)
Seaboard Air Line Railway (bonds, on back)
Southern Railway Equipment Trust (ETFs)
St Clair Madison & St Louis Belt Railroad Co (stocks)
Susquehanna & Wyoming Valley Rail Road & Coal Co (bonds)