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Thread: Popularity of Railroads

  1. #1

    Default Popularity of Railroads

    I got curious about which railroads are actually most popular. This is useful data for someone (like me) thinking over which route project to start or what to prioritize. I started to enter search terms into /www.semrush.com/ which lists of the volume of searches for search terms. Here is what I got before my free trial ran out - the number is the volume of searches:

    Amtrak 2.2 Mil
    Norfolk Southern 60.5k
    CSX 60.5k
    Conway Scenic Railroad 5.4k
    Pennsylvania Railroad 2.4k
    New York Central 1.3k
    Baltimore & Ohio 1.3k
    MBTA 930
    New Haven Railroad 930
    Erie Railroad 720
    Cape Cod Central Railroad 590
    Boston & Maine 390
    Monon 390
    Maine Central 260
    Rutland Railroad 170
    Norfolk & Western 140
    Boston & Albany 90

    It would be interesting to see the results from other railroads if others want to search.

    No surprise that contemporary railroads are at the top. You see that reflected in downloads at this site. Surprised that the NYC isn't more popular (it was an equal match to PRR) but that matches other data. Surprised New Haven is three times more popular than B&M.

  2. #2

    Default

    Another measure: the number of photos on railpictures.net:

    Norfolk Southern 63,430
    BNSF 49811
    UP 44,538
    CSX 44,351
    CN 23,413
    Amtrak 22,668
    CP 20,756
    Southern Pacfic 6342
    VIA Rail 4,104
    Conrail 4,038
    Southern Railway 3966
    NJ Transit 3575
    Norfolk & Western 3253
    Pennsylvania 1626
    Milwaukee 1,998
    New York Susquhanna 1470
    Louisville & Nashville 1451
    Pan-Am 1226
    Metro-North 1170
    VRS + CV 1162
    Delaware & Hudson 1,039
    Bessemer & Lake Erie 969
    Chesapeake & Ohio 935
    Baltimore & Ohio 870
    Seaboard Coast Line 719
    Providence & Worcester 703
    Guilford 695
    Long Island RR 686
    SEPTA 592
    MARC 574
    Erie Lackawana 514
    New York Central 479
    Conway Scenic 430
    Western Maryland 412
    Boston & Maine 393
    Virginia Railway Express 379
    Lehigh Valley 284
    RF&P 267
    Reading 246
    Iowa Pacific 194
    Maine Central 188
    Atlantic Coast Line 138
    US Army 134
    Seaboard Air Line 126
    Bangor & Aroostock 126
    Jersey Central 119
    New Haven 102
    Monon 87
    Northern Pacific 34
    Cape Cod Central 16
    Railway Express Agency 16
    Pittsburg & Lake Erie 8
    Last edited by conductorchris; 08-10-2017 at 11:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alexandria, Va, USA.
    Posts
    500

    Default

    The bias for contemporary railroads may be affected by other than railfan interests. For example, a woman at work who has no particular interest in trains, as far as I know, was searching online for Norfolk Southern to help a relative who's a former Norfolk & Western employee. Shippers, local governments, and other people may do a lot of web searches concerning modern railroads. I suspect that Conway Scenic gets a lot of interest from people who aren't necessarily railfans. However, I think both lists would be good enough starting points for measuring popularity when selecting a route to build. I'd suggest seeing which of the most popular railroads have no train-sim routes or few.
    Steve Dunham
    Alexandria, VA
    www.stevedunham.50megs.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.
    Posts
    3,390

    Default

    As far as what railroad or route to do in MSTS, I believe it is more of a personal choice. I have only a passing interest in any roads other than the Milwaukee Road, or the L&N Railroad. Why so divergent? Well, I grew up with the L&N, my uncle was a engineer on the Louisville Division, Louisville, KY to Nashville, TN. Several summers I road the L&N/C&EI to Chicago and then transferred to the
    Milwaukee Road "Sioux" to visit another Aunt & Uncle in Spencer, IA. I lived in Nashville, TN. So, I got interested in the Milwaukee Road and what a fascinating venture the Pacific Extension was - I have 6 books on it. But then there was the coal fields on the L&N. And as a SR employee for 13 years, I got interested in SouthWest Virginia Coal areas. So I have 3 L&N lines in the bucket list, and the Virginian as well, with two remaining Milwaukee Road subdivisions. At 78, I may not be around long enough to do them all, but it will be fun to try.

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