Key Line: A Fast Freight Line connecting 19th Century Model Railroads
The Key Line project provides decals and registration for model
railroaders to participate in a national/international Fast Freight
line. Fast Freight lines were formed by groups of railroads in the
19th century to expedite traffic that involved multiple railroads to
move cargo from source to destination.
Many such lines existed, but we cannot find any mention of a "Key
Line" prototype. So we have adopted this for our own use. Although
most inter-railroad Fast Freight Lines were gone by the turn of the
(previous) century, we are stretching the point to support use of the
logo into the 1920s era, and of course Modelers are free to invoke
Rule 1 as appropriate.
If a modeler wants to participate in the Key Line project, s/he has to
do the following
- Contact the management Contact info TBD
- Letter at least one car for Key Line, using our decal set,
conforming to the rules below.
- Provide the ORER information for his/her railroad's cars that
participate in Key Line
- Car numbers (notional, but the range should include the car
- Car length
- Car capacity
- loading restrictions or routing instructions
- optional, but strongly preferred Send us a photo of the
Key Line car, once it's built and lettered.
About Fast Freight Lines
History of Fast Freight
Lines (Railway Age Gazette, Feb 11, 1910)
Logos and Heralds. Rules for same.
Preliminary dating for the heralds (left-to-right)
We will also do an all-text herald (no key.)
- Herald 1 - 1870-1890
- Herald 2 - 1890-1910
- Herald 3 - 1880-1900
- Herald 4 - 1890-1910 and later
- Herald 5 - 1880-1900
Proposed rules for the Key Line herald
The intent of these rules is to provide some uniformity across the
participating (model) railroads. These are written as requirements to
be applied when lettering a car for Key Line.
- Each Key Line car shall be either a boxcar or a refrigerator car.
Preference is for the participating railroad to have at least
boxcars, with reefers (especially beer reefers) as an option.
- The Car shall use one of the approved heralds. The Car should use the herald associated with the appropriate
- One side (left or right of a centrally located door) of the Car shall have the herald. The Key Line
herald should be placed on the side of the Car the door moves
to when opened (boxcar), or the right hand side (reefer). That side of the Car shall not have any
railroad identifying markings.
The side with the herald may have other lettering, such as weight data, etc.
- The other side of the Car shall be lettered as appropriate for the owning
line including reporting marks and car number.
- The Car shall have door and end markings as appropriate for the owning line.
Example ORER page (this for the Empire Line FFL, August 1897)
Last modified: Thu May 12 17:09:04 EDT 2016