Any idea's what these old railroad map abbreviations mean? is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


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I was looking at an old "Frisco" system map I found at my local library due to it being near the region I live. The map I found in a book was date 1912. I was looking at some of the other nearby railroads on the map and couldn't make out some of the abbreviation letters marked on the line drawings showing the routes due to the map being printed very small. I will list the other railroad abbreviations and see if any of them sound familiar:

-C.M. & ST. F (the last letter could be a 'P' also)- a line near Gault, Missouri in the northwestern part of the state.
-Q.O. & K. CY. (the 'O' could also be a 'C' and the 'C' near the 'Y' could also be an 'O')- a line near Milan, Missouri in the northwestern part of the state.
-C. & N.W. (I know this is "Chicago and NorthWestern"- but it was way down a LOT further south than some other maps I have looked at shown it going- in this case Geneva, Nebraska, which makes me wonder just how much C.& N.W. ventured deeply or extensively into the southern part of Nebraska (?!).
-ST. J & G.I. (the 'J' could aslo be an 'I')- a line near Hebron, Nebraska, near the southern part of the state
-C & A (I think this could be "Chicago and Alton", but I'm not sure)- a line near Independence, Missouri near Kansas City, Missouri

Thank you

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
C.M. & St. F is probably C.M. & St. P = Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the original corporate name of the Milwaukee Road before construction of its Pacific Extension in the early 1900's. After completion of the Pacific Extension, the railroad changed its name to Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific.
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
The major railroads of the Midwest (Milwaukee Road, Chicago & Northwestern, Burlington Route, Rock Island, etc.) were created by the acquisition of many smaller railroads. If you research the history of those major roads, you may come across names of predecessor roads which match the initials you are asking about. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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