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RR Logo game - have you created a RR logo/herald?

  • Greetings, friends. I am a game designer and have a dice and card game that utilizes logos and icons, that I call EXPRESS LINE. I have been searching in vain for a website that shows a gallery of Railroad Company logos and heralds created by hobbyists. I know they exist, but for the life of me, I can't find any. The original version of EXPRESS LINE uses actual heralds - SANTA FE, PRR, etc - but I have to get permission from the Big Boys to use those and I have sent the following letter to the Big Four:
    My name is Chester Hendrix, I am a game designer in California. I have a tabletop dice and card game I have put together that uses Railroad logos. In researching, I have tried to use logos that I thought were no longer in use, but in checking with a few people, it has come to my attention that some of them might not be considered public domain.

    As a game designer, I am very sensitive to the improper use of intellectual property and would like to speak with someone at your organization to ensure that I am not infringing on any protected images without your permission. Below I have included a montage of the various logos I have collected and colorized for use as icons with my game, EXPRESS LINE. Please look it over and let me know which of these would fall under your perview and what releases you would require to use them.

    As you are probably aware, virtually all tabletop and boardgames involving trains deal with creating and maintaining lines over geographical areas on maps. My game puts the emphasis on the wonderful visual icons that the various historical Company Logos represent. They appear on cards and dice and are integral to the play of the game, which is fast and fun – players throw the dice and play cards every turn. It is designed for 3-10 players and works for ages 10 and up. The game uses 32 different logos (primarily the squarish ones) which are then separated into primary colors. I would be happy to send you all the details you like on the game.

    Right now, I’m looking at putting together about 40 sets to see if I can get a publisher interested in printing it and getting it into stores. Beyond that, part of my plan for EXPRESS LINE was to seek out the companies like yourself who are the descendants of the companies of the logos to ask you all to cooperate in the creation of an historical booklet to go in the game if I can find a publisher.

    While I am an amateur historian, most of my emphasis has been in militaria (both of my published games have been traditional board wargames – I don’t do electronic gaming at all). But my upbringing has been in the rural Northern California Sacramento Valley. I’ve spent my whole life watching trains run through the middle of town and watching all those wonderful logos roll by. I have to admit to a bit of boyish glee at finally being able to do something creative with them! But I want to share that wonderment and sense of history by promoting not only the history, but the continued reality of the nation’s railroads.

    People respond to colorful images, and I think that these logos have the potential to promote the railroad community to the general public in a powerful way. I am NOT interested in pursuing other marketing opportunities, however. I have my hands full with my day job and designing games that put people at tables enjoying the company of each other. But I WOULD like to help the Railroad Community to promote itself and think that EXPRESS LINE has the potential to do that – especially if all of you… get on board! ;-)

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Copies of this message are going to BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE, UNION PACIFIC, CSX and NORFOLK SOUTHERN. Please contact me directly at -

    Irregardless of whether I can get permission [I am prepared to hear back from none of them, but it would only take one of them saying 'no'], I would like to do a version using the unique heralds created by hobbyists. If the Big Boys say 'no', that will be my default position!

    So - does anybody know where such a website exists? What I'm looking for ultimately is to run a contest [nationwide/worldwide?] where hobbyists can submit their heralds which can then be seen all together. Either I will choose the 32 I need, or some sort of judging system established or perhaps just a large voting process. The key here is that the heralds need to go on standard dice, so heralds must fit well into a squarish frame. Heralds that are round are just fine. In some cases, elongated heralds can be used, but they must be altered ['squished'] to fit the dice and cards.

    Please feel free to contact me directly -

    Your Buddy, Traz
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  • Hi Traz

    You will not find a web site.

    Because those that have designed there own Railway Totems or Heralds will have done so at home for their own Model Railroad.

    They will copyright material so will not be public domain 

    You will require the Written ( the Old Fashioned way with proper signature) permission of the Herald or Totem owner to use it.

    These people put a lot of time into designing their Heralds and Totems so make sure you do it right.

    regards John

  • Put an add in Model railroader asking about it
    K-Line The Difference is in the Details
  •  alexweiihman wrote:
    Put an add in Model railroader asking about it

    Alex, no ads on the forums!!!!! Laugh [(-D] Laugh [(-D] Laugh [(-D] Laugh [(-D] Laugh [(-D]

    "Lionel trains are the standard of the world" - Jousha Lionel Cowen

  • I designed my own herald----------------it can fall apart because it is computer generated, so it's not one big piece, but MANY
    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!!
  • Take a look at and see if that logo is acceptable to you.  I have a couple of other versions with different words in the headlight beam ("The Straight Line Short Line" and "Semper Vaporo" are other corporate mottos).

    Send me a "Private Message" and tell me your Postal address and I will send you a signed letter expressing my permission for you to use it in your game.

    I think you might be hard pressed to get 32 logos without having to pay for at least some of them.  Some real RR's require a token payment ($1.00, I believe) and others would require a bit more background on your game to see that it is not detrimental to the RR's good name and interests.

    I could design a few more for you if you wish!  You might also post a message at to see if anyone there might be amenable to your used of their logo.

    Semper Vaporo


  • My only thought is that if the dice are too small, the herald might not be readable??

    If a herald isn't square (like my rectangular one at left) you could fill in the square with the RR colors from their herald is red and white, it shows sky blue around the outside on the forum because that's the color my diesels are.

  • Everyone -

    I obviously do NOT know how to set it up so that when I get a reply here I get an alert to my email address. Many apologies for losing track [pun intended] of this thread.

    UPDATE - so far I am 7 logos along - and they are VERY nice logos! I am just surprised that more folks don't do their own - or at least put them where 'computer challenged' folks like me can find them.

    Wyoming - I went to your website, but couldn't find your personal logo anywhere? Do you ever print this logo out? If so, try using the PDF/SAVE function - that should flatten the image.

  • wjstix-

    I know what you're saying about losing detail - yours would disappear. But it is too rectangular as is. Very busy/very intense - but VERY well designed! I will admit to shuddering at the thought of trying to hand paint that on an N gague boxcar!
  • I don't know if this thread is still active or not. If it is, please post. We have a herald that you might be able to use.


    Tehachapi, CA 

  • It is absolutely active! I guess a little update would be in order...

    I just confirmed on Monday the last logo for EXPRESS LINE, and sent in the order for dice this morning, so it is on it's way - FINALLY! It's been a VERY long year getting all the licenses lined up. I don't anticipate any problem like that with HOBBY LINE, though. The problem will be in coming up with a full slate of hobbyist created heralds... I got your email forwarded to me, and found your website. Your herald would need to be altered somewhat - it is multicolored and to be included in the game it needs to be mono colored. This is not as difficult [or as drastic!] as it sounds.

    If you will send me a hi-res jpeg of your logo, I will 'transform' it to show you how it would look in the game. Please email me directly at:

    You also mentioned that you know how to get ahold of hobbyists - please feel free to forward any or all of my stuff to anyone. Right now we're running a contest for RR Photographers for another game we're doing on British Depot Plaques, and I'm having a heck of a time getting the word out.... I know... it's sort of a pattern for me....
  • Well, I created a lores image, but I can't figure out how to upload it... email me and I'll send it to you...