Template talk:North America Class I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject United States (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Trains (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Trains, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to rail transport on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. See also: WikiProject Trains to do list
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Opening heading[edit]

Yes, there are many more fallen flag Class 1 railroads in the US. Please add any that you know of that are missing. This template was started primarily with the articles that already exist in Wikipedia.


To avoid the confusion that is evident in earlier comments, let's start adding our references for this template here. Please add your reference in alphabetical order following the guidelines listed on Wikipedia:Cite sources, but also please sign your references and add notes as to which railroads are proven through the reference.

  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (2004). http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/railroads.html. Retrieved November 23 2004. Lists BNSF, CP, UP and CN as Class 1 railroads operating in Minnesota. slambo 21:25, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)
  • National Railway Publication Company (April 1984), The Official Railway Equipment Register 99 (4), XXII. Lists all of AMTK, BO, BLE, BM, CO, CR, DH, EJE, GTW, NW, PLE, CN, CP, FNM, AGS, CG, CNTP, FEC, ICG, SBD, SOU, ATSF, BN, CNW, MILW, DRGW, DMIR, KCS, MKT, MP, SSW, SOO, SP, UP and WP all as Class 1. slambo 01:07, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Not exactly the same, but "As of December 2000, Class I railroads have annual gross revenues of $256.4 million or more. Class II railroads have annual gross revenues of more than $20.5 million, but less than $256.4 million. Class III carriers have annual gross revenues less than $20.5 million. These limits are updated annually to reflect inflation." is in http://www.metroplanorlando.com/msplan/pdfs/FinalReport/Section2/Chapter6.pdf and might help identify them if we have the annual revenue. That might be hard for the EJE though because it's part of a larger company. --SPUI 00:26, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

WHOA WHOA WHOA "Florida East Coast Railway operates a Class II railroad along 351 miles of mainline track between Jacksonville and Miami, Florida, serving some of the most densely populated areas of the state." from the same PDF --SPUI 00:26, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

http://www.rosshorwood.com/RailSiteLinksFiles/ElginJolietEastern.html calls the EJ&E a class 2. And here we go with a more official link - http://www.in.gov/dot/div/multimodal/railroad/chapter_2.pdf "Only two of the 37 railroads are in the Class II category, the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad (IHB) and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway (EJE)." --SPUI 00:50, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

So I'm removing those two from the class 1 template, and moving them to short lines in the master list. I guess they should be added to the class 2 template, though is it really feasible to have that one? How many class 2 railroads exist? How often do railroads change between classes 2 and 3? --SPUI 00:52, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Actually, I put those two in the historic class 1 part of this template, since they apparently used to be class 1.

Is that correct? Problem is that the way that section is worded, it implies that the railroads in question no longer exist - it says Fallen flag. —Morven 00:56, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
I see your point - it seems to be a flaw with the way the template is set up. I'm not sure how I'd fix it. --SPUI 01:01, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I would prefer to separate them as operating vs. not operating (current vs. fallen flag) as that is the way that this template was originally designed. slambo 01:07, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, but in an extreme case, suppose a railroad was one of the most major of the class 1 railroads. Now it's been forced to sell off almost all of its lines, but it still lives on in name as a short line. Should this not go on the class 1 template just because it still exists? --SPUI 01:29, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You mean like Conrail where it's really just a terminal operator now? I'd take the same view as for article titles. If it's widely known as still operating under its own name, it's a current railroad. If it's not so widely known, like Conrail, put it in the fallen flags section. slambo 01:58, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

CN and CP in the US[edit]

I added CN and CP because they have such a large presence in the US. CN now owns Illinois Central, and CP owns Soo Line. As the constituent railroads' equipment is repainted, CN and CP have a more visible presence in the US. slambo 17:27, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

help with redirects[edit]

I have been working on Virginian Railway and several related others items. I could use some help with how to do redirects, and cleaning up article headings unless someone else is willing!

I am mostly focused on history. A big problem in writing about many of these rail companies is this: A very common corporate tactic during the financial reorganizations that most went through was to change their names from Railroad to Railway and back again.

The original rail company to use the words "Norfolk" and "Southern" may well be the most biggest glaring example. At one time or another, this regional carrier operating in Southeast Virginia and North Carolina was known as Norfolk and Southern, as well as Norfolk Southern Railroad and Railway (without the and) several times. It was made a part of Southern in 1974, and as a subsidiary, its name was changed once again before the big N&W and SOU merger in 1982 which took the current use of Norfolk Southern (NS). I frankly don't know how we can list an article and write about older one easily without confusion with NS.

If the railroads had nothing in common, something like I did for Florida Central Railroad and Florida Midland Railroad might be what you're looking for. Otherwise, multiple sections in the same article is probably best.
Like I've started with Wisconsin Central. slambo 19:14, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah. Unfortunately the current Florida Central has nothing to do with the old one, instead using part of the old Florida Midland, the current one of which has nothing to do with either.
As for RR/Ry, If the same company changed the suffix, make one redirect (using "#REDIRECT Norfolk Southern Railroad") in the NS Ry article, and bold the first mention of each. Atlantic, Suwannee River and Gulf Railroad is an example of that.

That's the worst instance of confusing terms I know of, but I try to wtite and list stuff which can be easily understood.

These are some specific ones (one article should be enough for each) I think are needed:

C&O Chesapeake & Ohio Chesapeake and Ohio Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Chesapeake and Ohio Railway

N&W Norfolk & Western Norfolk and Western Norfolk and Western Railway Norfolk and Western Railroad

SBD Seaboard System

ACL Atlantic Coast Line Atlantic Coast Despatch (not mispelled!) Atlantic Coast Railwoad

SAL Seaboard Air Line Seaboard Air Line Railroad

Of course, there are others!

Another question I have is whether there is any type of spellchecker available when we are writing. I have a minor (?) disability which results in transposing letters when I type. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. I have tried working offline in my word processor, but I am trained and used to an outdated one (Lotus Wordpro aka Amipro) and it doesn't work very well with wiki formatting. I someday will need to earn MS word like the rest of the world. My email is vgn700@aol.com if anyone wants to write me offline. I would like to spend more time on contenet andd less on cleaning up my bad typing which results.

I would appreciate some suggestions, as I am enjoying contributing to wikipedia! I would like to spend more time on contenet andd less on cleaning up my bad typing which results.

Yours in Richmond, VA Mark Fisher, aka vaoverland

Personally, I have no problems cleaning up someone's spelling and typing if their content is worthwhile, so don't worry about it! —Morven 23:00, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Current class 1 railroads[edit]

Anyone know why the list of current operating class 1 railroads in this template doesn't match the list in Class 1 railroad? JYolkowski 02:12, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Actually, I started with the list from the article, and found evidence elsewhere for the other lines on the template that aren't in the article. My copy of the April 1984 edition of the Official Railway Equipment Register lists Amtrak, EJ&E, FEC and SOO all as Class 1. I didn't think that they would no longer be Class 1, but it is possible. SOO should probably move to the Fallen Flags section soon as CP is repainting SOO equipment as CP and working to eliminate the SOO's identity. slambo 23:46, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)

Linking through redirects[edit]

While it's all good to have redirects for the official company names, the links in this template should go to the railroad page name, not the redirect name. The reason for this is so that the link will turn into boldface type instead of a link when the user is looking at the page. This also avoids circular links (Amtrak -> National Railroad Passenger Corporation -> Amtrak). slambo 23:49, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Ah, that boldface thing makes sense. However, it might be a good idea to move those pages to the official company names - what do others think?--SPUI 01:29, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) suggests we should use the most recognisable form, not the most official form. Open to interpretation, of course, and in most cases (e.g. Union Pacific Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad) they are one and the same. The problem comes with railroads so rarely called their real names that the use of the official name is jarring -- e.g. the Nickel Plate Road, Milwaukee Road, Soo Line).
However, I'm not averse to the pages being at the official name so long as it remains perfectly acceptable to use in text, and link to, the common names. It irritates me that people have to go round avoiding redirects, when the point of redirects is for them to be used when appropriate! —Morven 04:57, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Solid data for current US class 1 railroads[edit]

http://www.stb.dot.gov/newsrels.nsf/13c1d2f25165911f8525687a00678fa7/bec5e8b7fe2bbdf385256ee800602e00?OpenDocument Amtrak isn't included; that may be because of its different nature. Other than that, the list matches (minus of course VIA and the two Mexican ones).

As for my sources, I've listed VIA as per Statistics Canada (for example, see Rails of Canada: http://xnet.rrc.mb.ca/library/stats2/stat05/0009752-216-XIB.pdf). The Mexican railways were mentioned as per http://www.aar.org/PubCommon/Documents/AboutTheIndustry/Statistics.pdf. Both seem fairly authoritative sources. As for Amtrak, I know it took in $2 billion in 2001, so that should definitely put it in the class I ballpark. JYolkowski 18:25, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Criteria for listing[edit]

Here I will attempt to define how we currently decide which template a railroad goes on.

  1. If it currently exists, put it on the correct template under current. Don't put under former (except in highly unusual cases like Conrail).
  2. Otherwise, put it under former in the highest class it has reached.

I propose a change. If a railroad currently exists, but used to be a higher class, list it under its current class, but also under former in its highest-reached class. This has the advantage of not requiring a judgment call to decide if anything else is like Conrail. If necessary, change the wording to not imply that the railroads are fallen flags, just that they were at that level but no longer are.

I also question the wisdom of Template:US class 3. Looking at List of United States railroads, this template will be huge. Totally huge, fo' serious. I suggest that if a railroad never got into class 1 or 2, to just not put it on any template. --SPUI 22:23, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree with putting railways that were both Class I and Class II during different parts of their history in both templates (I had already changed the wording on this template with that in mind). I also have some doubts as to the usefulness of the Class III template, but not because of its potential size (there would probably also be hundreds of entries in the Class II template if we filled it out in its entirety). Rather, I think it may not be useful because no-one's ever written an article on a Class III railway, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. JYolkowski 15:16, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've written some (Florida Midland Railroad (current), Florida Central Railroad (current), Florida West Coast Railroad, as well as others). At least I think they're class 3. By the way, the AAR site seems to use I/II/III; maybe we should change the articles and templates to this. --SPUI 15:47, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I assume you're correct as to their classification (you're more familiar with them than I am). At any rate, Class III's are less significant than, say, Class I's so I think there's less justification for a navigation template anyway. I agree we probably should change the articles to use I/II/III. JYolkowski 20:23, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Re: Class 3 inclusion[edit]

I'm rereading the comments on this and have one further point to add... On Template:US class 3, I think it would be best to restrict the list to only currently operating railroads (which is what is begun on there now). As mentioned earlier, if we list every former Class III railroad, the link box would become unwieldy rather quickly. The other thing I've been doing is not adding to that template unless I have a source that shows a railroad as a Class III and still in operation. slambo 17:35, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

I don't know - even with only current ones it would be huge, assuming we do actually get the information about which are Class II/Class III. --SPUI (talk) 19:19, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
One suggestion I have would be to only include railways on the template that we actually have articles on. That's sort of what we've been doing with Template:Canada class 2 of late. JYolkowski // talk 21:36, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

1978 Class I data[edit]

[1] Copied here in case that goes down:

On January 1st, 1978 12 railroads were dropped from the list of the class 1s,
1-Bangor and Aroostook
2-Canadian Pacific (International of Maine)
3-Chicago and Illinois Midland
4-Detroit and Toledo Shore Line
5-Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific
7-Illinois Terminal
8-Maine Central
9-Northwestern Pacific
10-Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac
11-Texas Mexican
12-Toledo, Peoria and Western.

This left 41 class 1s,
1-Alabama Great Southern (owned by Southern)
2-Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
3-Baltimore and Ohio
4-Bessemer and Lake Erie
5-Boston and Maine
6-Burlington Northern
7-Central of Georgia
8-Chesapeake and Ohio
9-Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific
10-Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (Rock Island)
11-Chicago and North Western
12-Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific (owned by Southern)
14-Colorado and Southern (Burlington Northern)
16-Delaware and Hudson
17-Denver and Rio Grande Western
18-Detroit, Toledo and Ironton
19-Duluth, Missabi, and Iron Range
20-Elgin, Joliet and Eastern
21-Florida East Coast
22-Fort Worth and Denver (Burlington Northern)
23-Grand Trunk Western
24-Illinois Central Gulf
25-Kansas City Southern
26-Long Island Railroad
27-Louisiana and Arkansas (KCS)
28-Louisville and Nashville
30-Missouri Pacific
31-Norfolk and Western
32-Pittsburgh and Lake Erie
33-St. Louis-San Francisco
34-St. Louis Southwestern
35-Seaboard Coast Line
36-Soo Line
38-Southern Pacific
39-Union Pacific
40-Western Maryland
41-Western Pacific

I've added these to the template. --SPUI (talk) 17:40, 23 August 2005 (UTC)


  1. Did the International of Maine have reporting marks, or did it use CP?

1996 Class I and Class II[edit]

[2] - not added yet --SPUI (talk) 07:55, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

1950s Class I[edit]

[3] added. That should be the vast majority of class Is. --SPUI (talk) 14:00, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

1942 info[edit]

Of 137 Class I railroads in the United States, sixty-four use railway and sixty-eight use railroad in their corporate names. Five use neither. -- 06:03, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

"Fallen Flags"[edit]

The template seems inaccurate. Under the "Fallen Flag" section I find a number of lines which still operate. Mangoe 00:07, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Which ones? I don't see any offhand, but it is a huge list. JYolkowski // talk 00:38, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Here are some I've noticed:
I also see some listed that I have to doubt were ever considered Class I:
There may be others. There is at least one which may not have lasted long enough to get classified (Denver and Salt Lake Railway). Mangoe 01:29, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I think we debated the GTW before and decided to list it both as active and as a fallen flag since, while the Grand Trunk Corporation still exists and is what the AAR lists as a Class I, CN operates it under its CN North America "brand".
The CAGY one should probably be in the "demoted". I'll fix that later if no-one gets around to it first.
I kind of doubt the ET&WNC was ever a class I. We may need better references for these (I haven't checked), but I wouldn't doubt if the PSN & ITC were Class I's at one point. The PSN operated over 190 miles in the late 1930s/early 1940s. Around that time, I think that, on the average, a railway would make $40,000 in revenue per mile of track. Assuming the PSN to be "average", that would give it around $7.6 million in revenue, or well above the $1 million threshold for that time.
JYolkowski // talk 02:10, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I've moved CAGY per above. I'm dubious about the PS&N since a railroad that went into receivership after only six years is likely to have been well below average in revenue. Mangoe 02:23, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Soo Line[edit]

If GTW, IC and WC are now considered fallen flags then so should Soo since its been integrated into CP for years just like the other 3 have been into CN. (talk) 17:12, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

New look proposal[edit]

I was playing around with possibilities for this template this morning and came up with the following as a possible style update:

Class I railroads of North America
Current (operating) Class I railroads

United States: AMTK, BNSF, CSXT, GTW, KCS, NS, SOO, UP - Canada: CN, CP, VIA - Mexico: FXE, TFM, KCSM

Former or fallen flag


Demoted from Class I United States: CAGY, FEC, TN

It is slightly smaller and still contains all of the information of the current template, and also uses the standard Wikipedia:WikiProject Trains heading color. However, the more I thought about it and played around with different ideas, the more I thought we might want to reduce this to just the currently operating Class I railroads with "See also" links for the other two sections like this:

Thoughts? Slambo (Speak) 11:50, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that the smaller size is a significant improvement over the current format. JYolkowski // talk 20:58, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Does that mean that you prefer the second option listed here that shows only the currently operating Class I railroads (which is my guess of your meaning)? Whatever we decide here, I'd like to follow through with on {{US class 2}} and {{US class 3}} as well. Slambo (Speak) 15:37, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Hearing no objections after waiting a week, it's time to make the update. Slambo (Speak) 20:18, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 February 2018[edit]

Lowercase the A in "And" to resolve a broken link:

 Done Thank-you for pointing that! regards, DRAGON BOOSTER 16:16, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 October 2018[edit]

Initial visibility: currently defaults to autocollapse

To set this template's initial visibility, the |state= parameter may be used:

  • |state=collapsed: {{North America Class I|state=collapsed}} to show the template collapsed, i.e., hidden apart from its title bar
  • |state=expanded: {{North America Class I|state=expanded}} to show the template expanded, i.e., fully visible
  • |state=autocollapse: {{North America Class I|state=autocollapse}}
    • shows the template collapsed to the title bar if there is a {{navbar}}, a {{sidebar}}, or some other table on the page with the collapsible attribute
    • shows the template in its expanded state if there are no other collapsible items on the page

If the |state= parameter in the template on this page is not set, the template's initial visibility is taken from the |default= parameter in the Collapsible option template. For the template on this page, that currently evaluates to autocollapse.

Semi-protected edit request on 26 September 2019[edit]

Initial visibility: currently defaults to autocollapse

To set this template's initial visibility, the |state= parameter may be used:

  • |state=collapsed: {{North America Class I|state=collapsed}} to show the template collapsed, i.e., hidden apart from its title bar
  • |state=expanded: {{North America Class I|state=expanded}} to show the template expanded, i.e., fully visible
  • |state=autocollapse: {{North America Class I|state=autocollapse}}
    • shows the template collapsed to the title bar if there is a {{navbar}}, a {{sidebar}}, or some other table on the page with the collapsible attribute
    • shows the template in its expanded state if there are no other collapsible items on the page

If the |state= parameter in the template on this page is not set, the template's initial visibility is taken from the |default= parameter in the Collapsible option template. For the template on this page, that currently evaluates to autocollapse.