the Louisville, New Albany and Chicago, now part of the Monon, was bestowed the graphic nickname "Long, Narrow and Crooked."
One section of the Cincinatti, New Orleans and Texas Pacific running through what was then desolate mountain country between Wilmore, Ky., and Emory Gap, Tenn., had 27 tunnels, most of them hot and crooked as well as pitch black, along its hazardous 160 miles of track. This section, not surprisingly, became known as the "Rathole Division."
The old Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern, another southern road, was popularly referred to as the "Narrow Escape" because of its mountainous right of way, which included an 8000 foot loop needed to carry it across lofty Bald Mountain. This road was also known as the "Black Satchel" due to the fact that many of its backwoods passengers toted their luggage in black cardboard satchels when they embarked on a railroad journey. The AK&N had still another sobriquet, the "Hook and Eye," which derived from the shape of the Bald Mountain loop, roughly resembling an eye, and the "hook" curve of the line at Tate Mountain.
Also and probably more widely known as the "Hook and Eye" was the Iowa Central which got its nickname from the road's insignia on the cover of an early timetable. The initials I.C. and RR were arranged in such a way as to resemble the familiar hook and eye.
In addition to describing the physical characteristics of early railroads, nicknames reflected popular opinion as to the reliability of the service the roads offered. In this class were the "Can't and Never Will," for the Carolina and Northwestern; "Lost and No Wonder," the popular designation of the Lewisville and Northwestern; "Leave Early and Walk," the nickname of the Louisville, Evansville and Western; and the sobriquet of the Missouri and North Arkansas, which expressed what was apparently the grimmest and most persistent possibility of all, "May Never Arrive."
Among other nicknames that made less than complimentary reference to the quality of transportation provided by the rail roads they identified were "Please Go Easy," by which the Pacific Great Eastern was known; "Push, Pull and Jerk," and "Slow and Miserable," two attempts to describe what travel was like on ths Pekin, Peoria and Jacksonville and the Shawnee and Muskingum, respectively; and the injunctions "Quit Aching and Push" and "Take Hold and Push" which were common designations of the Quanah, Acme and Pacific and the Terre Haute and Peoria. The "Quanah" in the formal name of the QA&P referred, incidentally, to an Indian chief, Quanah Parker.
The Toledo and South Haven, which never got within 100 miles of the former city during its brief career around the turn of the century, became known as the "Touch and Shove Hard" due to its practice of adding extra coaches to the load its small locomotives pulled on Sunday excursions. Male passengers on those idyllic trips often had to interrupt their contemplation of the countryside by getting out and pushing the cars over the hills.
Nicknames invariably were attempts to describe one or more notable characteristic of the roads on which they were bestowed, but accuracy was often sacrificed in the interest of color and good clean fun by their anonymous creators. Calling the Anthony and Northern the "Anywhere and Nowhere" displayed noteworthy imagination and flair for nomenclature, for example, but lacked the scientific aptness and sharp delineation of "Crooked and Weedy," for the Chesapeke and Western.
Because the Lufkin, Hemphill and Gulf, an 11-mile-long Texas road, never got to either Lufkin or the Gulf of Mexico, it was named by its more derisive critics the "Left Hell and Gone." Later when the road was purchased by Hiram Knox and his wife Lillle who had a cook named Gussie, the road acquired a second nickname, the "Lillie, Hiram and Gussie."
The old Jupiter and Lake Worth, an eight mile long line that skirted Florida's east coast, was dubbed the "Celestial Line" because four of its stations were named Jupitor, Venus, Mars and Juno. This road had the humiliation of being purchased at a tax sale in the early 1930's for $2.80, no great sum even in those Depression days.
The nickname that was probably more accurate than any other in describing a railroad was the "Old, Rusty and Wobbly." It was applied early in the history of the line to the Ohio River and Western, which was probably the most crooked railroad the world has ever seen. This narrow gauge line continued for no longer than 300 (Continued on next page)