Railroad Milestones Since 1945 - A Tool for Modelers. 
LOCOMOTIVES
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FLAGS
YEAR
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Fully enclosed autoracks appear in quantity.
Rock Island becomes "The Rock."
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PATrain takes over B&O commuter responsibilities in Pittsburgh.
C&EI and T&P fully absorbed into Missouri Pacific.
Increasing branchline abandonments spell the end for growing numbers of 40' box cars in grain service.
Conrail launches taking over routes of PC+EL+LV+RDG+CNJ+L&HR+
P-RSL+and briefly, AA.
D&H doubles in size.
Spin-off short lines begin to appear in quantity.
Centerbeam flats begin to appear in large numbers.
Kankakee Beaverville & Southern appears.
VIA Rail appears as an independent Crown Corporation.
Southern ends Crescent and joins Amtrak.
ACI system abandoned - label removal begins.
Vert-A-Packs retired.
Cars with White U-1 dots banned.
Milwaukee Road abandoned west of Miles City, Montana.
CSX created but Chessie and Family Lines still separate.
Maryland Midland appears.
Frisco merges into Bulington Northern.
B36-7, GP50, SD50S introduced.
Shortline boxcar boom peaks.
Guilford acquires Maine Central.
Autotrain shuts down.
Detroit & Toledo Shore Line merges into Grand Trunk Western.
Iowa Northern appears.
U-1 inspections complete.
Tests successful, SP launches double stack service in volume.
C36-7, AEM-7 Introduced.
U-1 dots (black square with yellow dot) appear on all 70 ton cars with 33" whls.
PFE split into UPFE and SPFE.
BN completes Orin Line, setting off Powder River Basin coal boom.
Rock Island shuts down.
F units still in service on 17 Class 1's.
Northern Alberta Railways merges into Canadian National.
Western Pacific and Missouri Pacific merge into Union Pacific.
D&RGW gets rights into Kansas City and SP gets rights into St. Louis.
B36-8 introduced.
Con-Stencil changed to 2/1 or 3/1-box format.
N&W adopts the "Claytor" scheme: NORFOLK AND WESTERN spelled out.
Guilford acquires Boston & Maine.
Dakota & Iowa appears.
ICG paints locos orange and gray.
Missouri Pacific adopts Screaming Eagle logo.
Massachussets Central begins operations.
Indiana & Ohio appears (spun off Conrail.)
Plating over non-essential windows on cabooses and some locos begins.
4750 cu.ft. grain cars appear in quantity.
Southern adopts thin profile lettering.
Wisconsin & Southern appears (spinning off of Milwaukee Road.)
MKT sets up OK&T to operate some former RI routes.
Cotton Belt acquires Rock's Golden State Route.
First new street car system in decades opens in San Diego.
Farmrail appears.
Durham & Southern merges into Seaboard Coast Line.
NYS&W is saved from abandonment, launches amazing growth spurt.
Kyle Railway appears.
Freight service ends on White Pass & Yukon.
Illinois Terminal merges into Norfolk & Western.
The new Norfolk Southern is created. 
Family Lines image appears on locomotives. (SCL, L&N, CRR, Georgia, A&WP, WoA.)
HR-616 introduced with the "Draper Taper."
Ann Arbor ends ferry service.
Boston & Maine turns over passenger equipment and some routes to MBTA.
Boston & Maine buys several Connecticut routes from Conrail.  
Long-closed Cadillac & Lake City re-opens with ex-Rock line in Kansas and Colorado.
Bay Colony Railroad opens.
Chicago Madison & Northern opens for business.
Central Wisconsin RR takes over routes of Chicago Madison & Northern.
Colorado & Southern finally merged into Burlington Northern on 12/31.
Erie Western shuts down.
Erie Western opens.
Indiana Hi-Rail opens.
Keokuk Junction Rwy opens.
Maryland & Delaware opens.
Michigan Northern opens.
NJ Transit takes over NJ commuter ops.
Shamrock Coal's new Oneida & Western coal trains begin to operate.
ACF introduces Coalveyor gons.
Texas North Western opens.
Southeast Coal Company begins running their own trains (SECX.)
St.J&LC becomes Vermont Northern.
Family Lines merge and become Seaboard System.
48' trailers appear.
Guilford acquires Delaware & Hudson.
45'x102" Z-vans become popular.
Toledo Peoria & Western merges into Santa Fe.
Spine cars become widespread.
UP adopts brown with small shield scheme for freight cars.
Rio Grande retires Zephyr and joins Amtrak.
Detroit Toledo & Ironton merges into Grand Trunk Western.
Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal and New York Dock Railroad close their doors.
Norfolk Southern introduces flying NS logo image in October.
Maryland establishes MARC.
Metro-North Railroad opens.
Norfolk Franklin & Danville absorbed into Norfolk Southern.
NJ Transit takes over commuter rail in New Jersey.
Kodachromes appear on SP and ATSF.
End of Train Devices begin to replace cabooses.
Double Stack trains appear in quantity.
Movement of bulk grain in boxcars ends in the United States.
Iowa Interstate appears.
West Tennessee RR spins off of ICG.
1945-1960
1961-1974
1975-1984
1985-1991
1992-1998
1999-2005
2006-Today
Santa Fe adopts blue script lettering for trailers.
SFLC Santa Fe Leasing cars appear.
Santa Fe acquires SDP40F's from Amtrak.
Santa Fe begins selling CF7's.
Canadian railroads begin installing ditch lights on their entire fleets.
First NEW units on N&W with low short hoods, and single cab controls with the short hood as forward.
 
Cornfields