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In doing research on the Minneapolis & Rainy River Railroad, I've noticed that some of their equipment is marked "M.&R.R.R. Co." and some "M.&R.R.R.Y."
Is the last "R." in the first instance for Railroad, and the "R.Y." in the second instance for Railway, or am I way off here?
You're right on the money!
I know that railway was used often for urban transport. The M&RR was basically a logging railroad that was also a common carrier which had a few passenger cars. Do you know if it was common for a road like this to use the terms railroad and railway interchangeably?
As to RR or RY, in some instances a company has changed its name after reorganization by simply changing XY&X Railroad (RR) into XY&Z Railway (RY). So The Minneapolis & Rainy River might have gone through a bankruptcy followed by reorganization where Railroad might have changed into Railway. Of vice versa.
Just my two (Euro) cents.
Switching from Railroad to Railway or vice versa was a very common action following a bankruptcy reorganization, rather than coming up with a completely new name. It should be noted that some large US rail companies were always Railways without experiencing Bankruptcy such as the Great Northern Railway.
A friend of mine did a little digging and it appears that the Minneapolis & Rainy River Railway, a logging railroad, became a common carrier in 1904 and was renamed Minneapolis & Rainy River Railroad.
They ran from Deer River, Minnesota, north about 60 miles to Craigville, Minnesota. They discontinued operation in 1932 and never did reach Minneapolis or Rainy River.
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