Trains.com

Worst Herald?

3476 views
76 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 698 posts
Worst Herald?
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:47 AM

Many folks will tell you that Penn Central's infamous "Two Worms In Love" was the worst https://blog.logomyway.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/logo-1968-penn-central.jpg , but I think Canadian National's Sqiggle is equally hideous https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/CN_Railway_logo.svg They even show the same graphic heritage. What are your nominees?

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 23,046 posts
Posted by tree68 on Monday, December 13, 2021 7:09 AM

I've seen CN's referred to as the "lazy 3."

I can't really think of any heralds that are ugly.  Unique, maybe.

At least the railroads didn't resort to computer generated names like "Exxon."  Some of the corporate "names" (generally those consisting of initials) resulting from mergers have left something to be desired...  I'm kinda partial to real names...

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 22,307 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 13, 2021 8:49 AM

tree68
I've seen CN's referred to as the "lazy 3."

I can't really think of any heralds that are ugly.  Unique, maybe.

At least the railroads didn't resort to computer generated names like "Exxon."  Some of the corporate "names" (generally those consisting of initials) resulting from mergers have left something to be desired...  I'm kinda partial to real names...

Wasn't pleased with CSX in the way they 'explained' their naming Chessie Seaboard and the multiplier symbol 'X'.  Especially since the simple CSX could not be used for equipment identification because of how AAR rules defines the final X in owners initials and thus the corporation had to utilize CSXT as their identifier.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,377 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Monday, December 13, 2021 9:34 AM

Isn't CSX how the company is listed on the stock exchange? 

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,701 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Monday, December 13, 2021 10:17 AM

54light15

Isn't CSX how the company is listed on the stock exchange? 

Maybe, but that's got nothing to do with what they use as an AAR reporting mark, which is CSXT (look at ANY photograph of a CSX freight car) because under AAR conventions, any mark ending in "X" designates a non-railroad operator.

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,701 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Monday, December 13, 2021 10:18 AM

BEAUSABRE

I think Canadian National's Sqiggle is equally hideous https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/CN_Railway_logo.svg They even show the same graphic heritage. What are your nominees?

 
Going to disagree with you on CN.
 
It's a very simple, recognizable, and "clean" modern logo, and it's remained unchanged for 60 years.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 22,307 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 13, 2021 11:11 AM

54light15
Isn't CSX how the company is listed on the stock exchange? 

Yes - AAR identification rules don't apply to stock exchange listings.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • 132 posts
Posted by ns145 on Monday, December 13, 2021 11:16 AM

The CN family noodle logos (CN, GT, and CV) are all classics in my opinion.  Plus, the paint schemes that went along with them were very nice and colorful.  CN's paint scheme still looks stunning 60 years later, especially if its clean.  I'd rate it up there with the Santa Fe warbonnent and UP Armour yellow and grey paint schemes - timeless.  

Of course, everyone else is entitled to their own opinions.

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,005 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, December 13, 2021 11:40 AM

I think Texas and Pacific was one of the worst, so tiny you needed almost a magnifying glass to read the text.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 1,316 posts
Posted by NKP guy on Monday, December 13, 2021 12:34 PM

  My suggestion for worst.  Here's why:  1.  No idea of what these letters stand for (some railfans know, but no one else does); 2. The shape itself is rather meaningless; how does one describe it? 3.  It does nothing to sell or promote the railway; there's no slogan or tag line or even a symbol of the cities or region it serves.

  This might be a very nice railway but the herald is unattractive and boring.  Just my opinion:  I know nothing of this fallen flag company.

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • 1,718 posts
Posted by Backshop on Monday, December 13, 2021 12:43 PM

It's sorta like the Frisco one.  That names a city, too bad it has nothing to do with the railroad.

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 4,384 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Monday, December 13, 2021 12:59 PM

The Burlington Route herald shouts WE HAVE NO IMAGINATION. 

 

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 4,073 posts
Posted by York1 on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:23 PM

I agree that the herald for the NC&StL  railroad was not the best.  I like their nicknames better:

To and From Dixieland.

The Dixie Route.

 

York1 John       

  • Member since
    December 2021
  • 7 posts
Posted by thegoldbering on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:30 PM

Hehe I thought the same, BUT mi kids like it and mos def I'll get it for Christmas

 

-Mark

  • Member since
    December 2021
  • 7 posts
Posted by thegoldbering on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:31 PM

As I understand it, yes, it s

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 428 posts
Posted by azrail on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:39 PM

The story behind the Frisco logo is that there was a train station on the Frisco somewhere in the Ozarks that had no identification. The station manager found a coonskin hide, wrote the FRISCO name on it and hung it on the station. RR management noticed the sign and decided to use it as the RR logo. BTW the MKT and Rock Island heralds are also derived from "hides"-cowhides.

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 428 posts
Posted by azrail on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:42 PM

The pre-horsie NS logo was basically a knock off of the Western Maryland "speed logo"

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,226 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:48 PM

NKP guy
  My suggestion for worst.  Here's why:  1.  No idea of what these letters stand for (some railfans know, but no one else does); 2. The shape itself is rather meaningless; how does one describe it? 3.  It does nothing to sell or promote the railway; there's no slogan or tag line or even a symbol of the cities or region it serves.   This might be a very nice railway but the herald is unattractive and boring.  Just my opinion:  I know nothing of this fallen flag company.

 

Funny thing about that comment coming specifically from you,....my first exposure to that railroad was in looking over an old 1920's vintage railroad atlas, and seeing those letters crowded onto a multistate rail map.  And thinking "N,C,&StL? I didn't know Nickel Plate had a route through Tennessee..!"

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,226 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:52 PM

Speaking of which, I always found the Nickel Plate "Blue Bird" livery somewhat of a disappointment.

 

Not contempt for the road by any means, but it just always seemed overly unimaginative to me, like somebody said "pick something quick that will be inexpensive to deploy"

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,728 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:55 PM

Most transit authorities have rather unimaginative heralds with the possible exception of Muni in San Francisco.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 1,316 posts
Posted by NKP guy on Monday, December 13, 2021 1:55 PM

Convicted One
Funny thing about that comment coming specifically from you,....my first exposure to that railroad was in looking over an old 1920's vintage railroad atlas, and seeing those letters crowded onto a multistate rail map.  And thinking "N,C,&StL? I didn't know Nickel Plate had a route through Tennessee..!"

   That IS funny!  I thought the exact same thing for a few years as a kid!  

   See?  That's what I mean:  A totally ineffective herald.

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,226 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, December 13, 2021 2:12 PM

NKP guy
 A totally ineffective herald.

 

I came to suspect that may have been the intentional result of the line being captively owned by other railroads. (L&N, as well as ACL). Similar in scope to the way NYC once controlled the Nickel Plate.  Don't really want to create too much "sizzle" around a subordinate, out of concern that raised awareness might result in loss of mindshare (or unnecessary attention) for the parent... Just collect the revenues, pay the bills, and hope everybody else leaves you alone sort of thing. 

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 2,591 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, December 13, 2021 2:44 PM

cv_acr

 

 
BEAUSABRE

I think Canadian National's Sqiggle is equally hideous https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/CN_Railway_logo.svg They even show the same graphic heritage. What are your nominees?

 

 

 
Going to disagree with you on CN.
 
It's a very simple, recognizable, and "clean" modern logo, and it's remained unchanged for 60 years.
 

I agree. I like it.

Still in training.


  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,226 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, December 13, 2021 3:13 PM

I  think the only railroad herald that I actually disliked, was when C&O took "chessie" into the silhouette mode, which looked more to me like a moon setting over a lake with a pine tree in the way.

 

As a kid I didn't like the Wabash "Heartland" logo, because it was so similar to the logo on the "I love Lucy TV"  show....I always expected to see some "Fred Mertz" looking guy in the crew cab ( and often was not disappointed in that regard)

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • 15 posts
Posted by Michael Vomvolakis on Monday, December 13, 2021 3:50 PM

While there are no logos I don't like, there are some that I like far better than others.

 

I love the Southern Pacific and Cotton Belt logos. (I'm also heavily biased towards those railroads though.) They are both simple and effective. Especially the Cotton Belt shield  when combined with the words "Blue Streak Fast Freight." Might as well advertise your best service on your logo!

 

In terms of modern railroads, Canadian Pacific's combination of the historic beaver and shield with the red "CP" lettering underneath is the perfect combination of history and modernity. Canadian National's "wet noodle" is simply brilliant. CSX's "boxcar" logo was great as well. Too bad they stopped using it. Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific have used their logos since forever, so there is something to be said for those as well.

 

For what I like less. The original Soo Line logo (pre-1960 Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad not the post-1960 Soo Line Railroad) with the $ used as the S never looked all that great to me. It always came off as the railroad trying to appear richer than it actually was. While I love the RF&P's slogan of "Linking North and South" it never looked great when used on the logo itself. It made everything too small to read. Put it off to the side and blow it up, like on the boxcars.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 6,211 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, December 13, 2021 5:16 PM

NKP guy

 

 
Convicted One
Funny thing about that comment coming specifically from you,....my first exposure to that railroad was in looking over an old 1920's vintage railroad atlas, and seeing those letters crowded onto a multistate rail map.  And thinking "N,C,&StL? I didn't know Nickel Plate had a route through Tennessee..!"

 

   That IS funny!  I thought the exact same thing for a few years as a kid!  

   See?  That's what I mean:  A totally ineffective herald.

 

Says the guy with an equal meaningless (to non fans) herald.

Most heralds really don't say anything about the railroad.  Well known to railfans, even many of those still working in the industry would not be able to identify the railroads they represent.  Some that once spelled out the name, were eventually modernized to only have the word(s) that the railroad was generally known as.

Now, I appologize if it seems like I don't like the NKP or their herald.  I do, but then I know enough about the railroad to recognize what it represents.  I was just looking at the book I have on NKP's Berks last night.  (Question.  My local hobby shop has a consignment copy, in decent condition, of Kalmbach's "The Nickel Plate Story."  It's wrapped in plastic so I couldn't page through it.  It's got a premium price on it.  Would it be worth it?)

If I had to choose a logo I don't care about, it would be the BNSF "swoosh."  Changing from a full name to just initials was bad enough, but really? 

Jeff     

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 22,307 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 13, 2021 5:36 PM

The best .... by far

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • 132 posts
Posted by ns145 on Monday, December 13, 2021 5:44 PM

jeffhergert

 

 
NKP guy

 

 

If I had to choose a logo I don't care about, it would be the BNSF "swoosh."  Changing from a full name to just initials was bad enough, but really? 

Jeff     

BNSF just wanted to rub it in that they are blowing UP's doors off! 

Agreed, there's an an abundance of non-imagination in both CSX's and BNSF's names and logo's.  And now CPKC will soon follow suit, as if Kansas City was the geographic objective of the merger.  I say just keep the Canadian Pacific name and be done with it.  Union Pacific never gave a flying flip about soothing the ego of a merger partner!  That kind of attitude fits the modern P$R spirit of "kill or be killed". Devil

Actually, in the P$R world, everyone should just take a page from the 1970's Norfolk & Western.  Just paint everything black with a bare bones reporting mark non-logo.  The N&W was a 60 OR railway before it was cool to be a 60 OR railway.  Of course, even then, some bone-head such as myself, will think that the resulting minimalist paint scheme looks bada$$ on a high hood SD45 running long hood forward. 

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,226 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, December 13, 2021 5:58 PM

jeffhergert
(Question.  My local hobby shop has a consignment copy, in decent condition, of Kalmbach's "The Nickel Plate Story."  It's wrapped in plastic so I couldn't page through it.  It's got a premium price on it.  Would it be worth it?)

I've been through it, thought it was worthwhile. Really enjoyed the details behind the creation of some of the constituent lines that were ultimately absorbed.

But, you can play it safe and review one through your local library before buying.  Even if your local library has not got a copy on the shelf, you can have one sent in via intra library loan.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 18,709 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 13, 2021 6:15 PM

I loved everything about Chessie System BUT the broken dish.

Penn Central was cool.  What was not cool was the version with the 'C' in red... that was just awful.

I never liked the CSX logo with the little boxcar wheels... although I loved the Berkshire version.

The all-time parade of hokey heralds, hands-down, is all those Herbert Matter drafts of the NH herald.  And surely in the top ten is that last B&M version...

We recently had a post about a 1956 set of Great Northern billboard cars that went a long way toward populating the rest of that 10 worst list.

I was not much of a fan of the Amtrak pointless arrow, or that awful Helvetica.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy