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Section Hand
I've seen the abbreviations for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad as being the C&NW or the CNW. Which is the correct version?

I should of known the answer being a fan of the Chicago and Northwestern road.




Active Member
Reporting marks do not include special characters like the ampersand, so the correct marks are simply CNW not C&NW.

So if you're referring to a specific locomotive or piece of rolling stock it would be correct to refer to CNW 1234.

However if you're simply referring to the railroad in general, the initials C&NW are acceptable.


Active Member
Reporting marks can include an ampersand or periods, depending on the era. The CNW however doesn't appear to have used an ampersand since the 1930's at least. Other roads did.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
When did reporting marks become mandatory on US railroads? I've Googled this question in several different ways without gaining a definitive answer. Plenty of info about them, what they do, lists of them etc, etc. but nothing as to when they became required, or legislated by anybody. They're nominated by the AAR, but when?


Active Member
It was about 1910 when the ARA standardized the railroad markings. The MCB (master Car Builders Assoc.) was first, it became the ARA (American Railway Assoc.) and then became the AAR (American Assoc. of Railroads).

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