Andrew Boyd's Create a Company Challenge

TransAmerica Railtour Company

One of many railtour companies that found their roots in the steam excursions that various rail companies would briefly run until the mid-1960s. This railtour company's roots begin with the gradual improvement of Amtrak under President Reagan. The idea of these trains was to allow vacationers to see the more scenic parts of the country that did not have the sufficient needs to justify Amtrak service. Even as Amtrak's long-distance services improved through the course of the 1990s, these trains remained very successful thanks to their strategies for choosing certain routes.

In contrast to most of the other American railtour companies, which mostly run vintage equipment they either lease or bought secondhand from Amtrak or other owners, the TARC uses almost entirely new-build coaches for their railtour trains. The majority of said coaches are build by the Pullman-Ansaldo Company, and are among the finest coaches ever built for modern American passenger trains. Also featured prominently in the ORRC fleet are Viewliner I cars that Amtrak retired in the early 1990s to make way for newer passenger cars, even including some of the Pullman-Ansaldo types. Lastly, there are several examples of bi-level cars which are also operated by Amtrak like the Superliners and Chasers. One notable feature of the Chasers that the TARC owns is how they were hooked up with the Nintendo Gateway System.

TARC's routes are as follows:
- Royal Palm: Detroit - Toledo - Columbus - Cincinnati - Corbin - Knoxville - Chattanooga - Atlanta - Macon - Savannah - Jacksonville - Orlando - Tampa
- Old Dominion: Chicago - Columbus - Portsmouth - Williamson - Bluefield - Roanoke - Lynchburg - Richmond - Petersburg - Norfolk
- Mark Twain: Twin Cities - Dubuque - Hannibal - St. Louis - Memphis - Baton Rogue - New Orleans
- Cardinal: St. Louis - Evansville - Louisville - Cincinnati - Charleston - Clifton Forge - Washington DC - Philadelphia - New York
- Atlantic City Express: Atlantic City - Philadelphia - Harrisburg - Pittsburgh - Columbus - Toledo - Detroit
- Cowboy Limited: Chicago - St. Louis - Kansas City - Denver - Cheyenne - Evanston - Ogden - Winnemucca - Sacramento - Oakland - San Jose - San Fransisco
- Olympian: Chicago - Milwaukee - La Crosse - Twin Cities - Aberdeen - Butte - Spokane - Seattle - Vancouver

The TARC mainly operates its rail tours with several ALCO Millenium and EMD diesels. However, they also five special steam engines that they operate in co-operation with various locomotive volunteers across the country at certain points:
- Louisville & Nashville K-7 Pacific #295: Famous for its semi-streamlining with white and red lining, this engine is one of the most iconic L&N steamers surviving today. She resides at the Nashville Railroad Preservation Society HQ, alongside the similar-looking NC&StL #576
- Central of Georgia "Big Apple" 4-8-4 #451: Preserved at the Southeastern Railroad Museum in Duluth, GA
- Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 #3811: The last of the original 3800 Challengers in operation.
- Missouri Pacific 4-8-4 #2207
- Atlantic Coast Line 4-8-4 #1805
Faulkner Corporation

Established: September 22, 1946
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

- Faulkner Canadian
-- Faulkner Design
-- Allied Canadian Brewers (49%) [1]
-- TH3 Kanati Designs (25%)
-- Lululemon (15%)
-- Canada Goose
-- Stanfield's
-- Qwest System
-- Alpinestars
-- CCM Westfield (49%)
-- Hudson Boat Works (33.3%)
-- Arc'teryx
-- Islands Style
-- Daiya Foods (50%)
-- McMaster Design Studios
Faulkner Retail
-- Saks Fifth Avenue (50%)
-- Neiman Marcus (49%)
-- Westwood Commons
-- Bretton, Goodman and Spencer (40.5%)
-- The Queensway Company
-- Durham Retailers [2]
-- Sportchek (50%)
- Faulkner Luxury
-- Cartier (25%)
-- Gucci (49%)
-- Ulysse Nardin (51%)
-- James Stewart
-- Officine Panerai
-- The Montreal Watch Company
-- Whittier Designs
-- Mark Cross Fine Leather
-- Dunhill of London (50%)
-- Michael Kors (24.5%)
-- Julia Laurence (51%)
-- Ben Moss Jewelers
-- Victoria Faulkner Bespoke
-- Grand Touring Automobiles (24.5%)
- Faulkner Properties
-- Intrawest Properties (66.6%) [3]
-- Atlantic Properties [3]
-- The Royal Jamaica Resort Company
-- Trillium Resorts and Attractions

"The Best of Canada, to the World." The slogan of the vast, sprawling Faulkner Corporation is one that is indeed indicative of its place in the Canadian retail and fashion world, though it's ownership and substantial support towards dozens of entrepreneurs and firms in many separate industries is something of a legend in Canada, as well as their famous battle to combine many of the Canada's smaller department stores that ultimately created the successful Bretton, Goodman and Spencer company in the 1980s and 1990s. The company's massive luxury division became an important part of the company in part because of its retail movements, as a counterweight to the movements upscale of Eaton's and the Hudson's Bay Company.

Created after WWII by 20-year-old Eric Faulkner as a small custom clothes shop on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto, the company grew across Toronto and then Ontario for its considerable reputation for excellent goods at reasonable prices, before beginning to make headway into the luxury goods markets in the 1960s, followed by the beginnings of a property empire in the 1970s. The success of the clothing business resulted in the company selling its wares in huge numbers at the famed Simpson's department stores starting in 1970, and while they were successful Sears' working with Simpson's starting in 1978 resulted in the company being edged out of the stores. When combined with Eaton's early 1980s revival and the subsequent following by the Hudson's Bay Company, it forced Faulkner to find new opportunities. Rather than partner with Eaton's or HBC (as many expected) Faulkner spent the 1980s pushing the remnants of many independent department stores together into a cohesive body, using Faulkner's own goods and those of its increasing number of subsidiaries as a massive carrot for these firms. Having accomplished this in 1985, the revival of so many stores and brands out vast sums into the company's coffers, money that was promptly sent out to designers at all levels for new goods to sell. The company began organizing it's own fashion show series in 1988, and the success of so many of its newcomers made these shows must-see events, particularly after stakes in Cartier and Gucci meant their offerings became part of the shows in 1991.

The idea of Faulkner representing the "Best of Canada" extended to just about everything in the company's relationship with its home country. When Roots and Faulkner got into a heated rivalry over supplying Canada's Olympic teams in the 2000s, the company came to an agreement that both firms would supply collections and give athletes the choice of which they wished to use. (The two firms both had some successes at this.) As the massive craft beer boom began in Ontario and British Columbia in the 1990s the company lobbied for, and ultimately got, permission to open up stores just to sell the craft beers. (This led to a long and acrimonious legal fight between them and the bigger brewers, led by Molson Coors.) The company proudly epoused it's background in the company's American and Commonwealth stores, and it's marketing for its resorts doubled down on this, with its "Canada Invites You" campaigns in the 1990s.

Bretton, Goodman and Spencer followed the leads of their Canadian counterparts in American expansions in the 1990s, only to have some difficulty outside of a handful of niche locations - a story for the most part shared by HBC and Eaton's - and the company focus on those niche locations, and the company (again, like its rivals) successfully navigated the difficult roads for them created by the massive growth of the likes of Walmart and Target, both of which attempted to enter the Canadian market in the 1990s and found limited success - Walmart ended up departing in 2007, but Target held on and managed to carve themselves out a place in the scene. (Perhaps ironically, the Americans' failures were not shared by European or Japanese retailers of the likes of Marks and Spencer, Carrefour and AEON, all of whom managed to get estabished in Canada, and Costco was also fairly successful in its entry into the Canadian marketplace.) Operations in the Commonwealth (particularly Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) were more successful, and the company's image as a purveyor of fine Canadian goods led them in many of these places to work with other Canadian companies that didn't operate in said markets, in particular Roots Canada, Aritzia, Gildan Activewear and Peace Collective.

Despite the limited success in department-store operations, the luxury brands' success that the big Canadian retailers enjoyed led them to make moves into that field as well, with Lord and Taylor becoming part of the Eaton's empire, Saks Fifth Avenue being split between HBC and Faulkner in 2002. Faulkner Corporation made another substantial move when they recapitalized Neiman Marcus in 2010, gaining 49% ownership of the business as a direct result. The luxury brands' stables became ideal places for the subsidiaries of Faulkner Corporation to both market and sell their wares and they took full advantage of it, often leading to the jokes that the likes of Saks and Neiman Marcus became stores for only Canadian goods as a result. (This isn't even close to true, of course, but the parent companies didn't mind this view if it meant people saw said goods as being of a quality to belong in such establishments, and this was almost never a problem.)

As of 2020, the Faulkner Corporation remains based in the St. Clair West (located in the 17-story building located at the corner of St. Clair Avenue West and Oakwood Avenue the company built for itself in 1995-96, which includes a flagship store which sells everything from the firm's many subsidiaries) and remains controlled by the powerful Faulkner family, with the company currently being run by Eric Faulkner's granddaughter Samantha. The rivalry between the Faulkner clan and the Eaton family is one which has raged since the company's rise to influence in the 1960s to 1980s, but it is a friendly rivalry most often seen in their families' lavish lifestyles and even-more-lavish philanthropy. At times, though, the two see common ground, and such was the case with the construction of the Kateri Tekakwitha Park - built on the site of the bankrupt Galleria Mall, the park ended up being rather larger in scale than originally planned thanks to the involvement of many sponsors, including both the Faulkner and Eaton families.

[1] Allied Canadian Brewers is a large collection of beer stores across Canada supplied almost exclusively by craft brewers
[2] Durham Retailers is for the most part a small-business support group in the mold of the Yonge Company, but it's portfolio includes the massive Scarborough Town Centre and Durham Centre shopping malls and many other larger properties
[3] Intrawest and Atlantic Properties both specialize in destination resorts and adventure travel
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March 18, 1970
HQ: Lima, OH (engineering center); Philadelphia, PA (first manufacturing center)

As it became clear that the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Company's acceptance of diesel supremacy had come too late, the company sold out to General Motors. Operating under the EMD brand, GM did indeed use numerous parts of the company like many of their diesel designs and the ex-Baldwin works at Eddystone, PA. In contrast, however, the Lima Locomotive Works' legendary plant at Lima, Ohio was left to rot. That is, until the 1960s came around and the numerous changes to the American railroad industry followed.

Much like Pullman, Budd was negatively affected by the mass-shift from rail to road travel for passengers. However, the good news was that also like Pullman, Budd soon found itself able to take advantage of a European firm wanting to enter the market for American railroad equipment. Indeed, it was exceptionally lucky for Budd that their European partner would prove to be the French company Alstom. However, it would not just be Budd itself that would proceed to benefit - the old works at Lima were not large enough to be an effective factory, but it did make an excellent engineering center.

Soon, the company was back in business, and made a deal with the ATSF to rebuilt its famous Hi-Level coaches. Soon after, Amtrak also took up Budd on the offer of building the first new Amfleet passenger cars. Budd naturally delivered, and the first of them rolled out in 1974. Meanwhile, Alstom itself decided to also use Budd's presence as a chance to start constructing locomotives for the North American market. After a while of deliberation and studying, 1980 would reveal the Budd-Alston 6000NA, a Bo-Bo+Bo-Bo electric design that was intended for heavy freight traffic. The 6000NA prototype engine was tested on the Pennsylvania Railroad's mainline in its namesake state. The PRR loved it, and soon thereafter the Milwaukee Road and Southern Pacific would also buy up the 6000NA. This locomotive's success would also inspire the 8K electrics that Alstom helped build for use in China later on in the 1980s. However, the 6000NA would soon be eclipsed by an even bigger order for the company.

In 1985, the state of Texas green-lit plans to build a HSR network that would link Dallas with San Antonio via Arlington, Ft. Worth, Cleburne, Waco, Temple, and Austin. As the company was the "Texas TGV Company", it was only natural that TGV clones would be used for the line. Budd-Alstom quickly answered the call with the HS E2 trainset, which was built to the same design as the TGV Atlantique. When it first operated over the Texas TGV route on May 23, 1990, the E2 proved to a massive success, and more were ordered when the Texas TGV built and opened a line from Temple to Houston via College Station on June 23, 1993.

Meanwhile, Alstom's ambitions for certain freight locomotives also enjoyed fruitful results. In 1988, the company created the 6000NA-2, a Co-Co counterpart to the original 6000NA. Much like the original design, it was fairly successful, but was especially embraced by the Louisville & Nashville and the Southern for their respective mainlines through Kentucky and Tennessee. These locomotives were major hits like the original 6000NAs had been, and would be the first electrics that the Rio Grande operated when they electrified in 1994. Nonetheless, Budd-Alsthom's main revenues came from passenger and commuter rail. Most notably, the Texas TGV system soon found that its network was seeing passenger numbers that the railroad could not keep up with. As such, Budd-Alstom arrived to remedy this with the HS E7, which was directly based on the TGV Duplex. The E7 proved to be even more powerful and reliable than the E2 trainsets, and eventually, they were also built for use on the Amtrak Midwest Panhandle route from Pittsburgh to St. Louis via Columbus and Indianapolis.

Today, the Alstom Citadis is now being build at the Philadelphia plant for use on several commuter rail lines in the country. Most notably, Budd-Alstom secured a 2013 deal to construct the design for St. Louis' Gateway commuter system.
I recently decided on having the KCS Pacific in the America Rails Museum replaced with IC #638, on of Casey Jones' favorite engines to drive. Though I could have it possibly preserved at Memphis
"All Shall Pass"

Mortuary and funeral services company founded in by former Protestant priest Robert Georges Nivelle in 1905, after retiring from the cloth. A surprising disciple of Freidrich Nietzsche, Nivelle came to agnosticism late in life, and came to have a certain fatalism about death and a disbelieve in the afterlife. He believed that the inevitability of death should be neither denied nor glossed over, and his company's somewhat morbid name reflected that. His establishment was somewhat infamous for serving all faiths or none in exactly the same respectful fashion. After his childless death in 1924, the company was sold off by distant relatives.

This minor, hardly distinguished business does have an important historical footnote, however. Behind closed doors, Nivelle was not merely a mortician, but what we would call today a euthanologist. A detailed journal kept private by his family was released in 1997 to mild astonishment and scandal, amidst the then-controversy surrounding assisted suicide. At a time when suicide possessed a far greater stigma, Neville was willing to aid many who came to him into a more painless and reliable death than some fumbling or torturous self-attempt like hanging or pistol-shot might entail, while providing a medical alibi (always some kind of cancer) by way of a false claim of a doctor's degree. These were primarily French and British soldiers traumatized by the war and suffering deeply from depression, and after the war a few German ex-soldiers as well. The exact numbers will never be known, but Nivelle certainly helped a great many young men end their lives earlier than they might have had they never known him, perhaps unnecessarily given the lack of understanding of or concern for psychological trauma at the time. Even in the supposedly more enlightened modern era, where assisted suicide is looked at with some acceptance, Nivelle's reputation is tainted by the possibility that many men died at his hands when they need not have.

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Roberts Cameron Miller

Established: September 5, 1934
Headquarters: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Even among the ranks of great professionals lie many with a desire to strike out on their own, taking the chance to make your own living. In the depths of the Great Depression, even those men and women of great learning ended up jobless thanks to circumstances, and in the case of James Roberts, Jean-Sebastien Cameron and Paul Miller, the result was a desire to never be reliant on someone else again, to take that chance. And of course, it worked incredibly well for them....

Roberts, an architect, began the firm with structural engineer, friend and former co-worker Miller in March 1933, just as Canada's bitter early-1930s economic issues began to subside. Cameron, a design engineer specializing in logistics, joined the firm after being laid off from the Quebec Ministry of Transportation in 1935, allowed the company to get into the business of designing and engineering transportation systems - a lucrative move once the building of the Trans-Canada Highway and it's other trunk highways began in 1935.

Through the 1930s the company developed and built numerous such plans, ranging from the small to the truly grandiose, such as a plan to build a bridge from Vancouver Island to the mainland via the San Juan Islands. Ontario's Great North Road (Highway 105) and James Bay Highway (Highway 102), built in the 1920s, became pet projects of the firm, developing them from roads to the north into proper transport systems, allowing better access to a part of Canada that previously was hard to get to. The company also assisted in the building of Highway 401 in Ontario, the first section of which opened in 1940.

The design of roadways and highways may have started the company, but what made it famous was a design philosophy it's founders developed in the 1930s that became the hallmark of Canadian civic design on a great many fronts - the 'Functional Style' theory, saying that making something work properly and then making it look good was a great investment. The company's founders (and many of its staff) had a real hatred for brutalist design and loudly defended what some (particularly some developers and civic politicians) called 'frills' in their design, though even in cities known for frugal management like Calgary and Toronto the company usually got their way. As James Roberts told Edmonton mayor William Hawrelak in 1953, "People make first impressions of anything based on what they see in front of them, so is it really a cost to make a good first impression, or is it an investment? We of course want what is built to work, of course, but we also believe it would be better to not simply design something as a ribbon in steel or a sheet of glass or a field of concrete or tarmac. It should say something about who it represents."

And in the post-war era, where cities and landscapes evolved dramatically to suit prosperity, the baby boom, the automobile and suburbia, this was a good design philosophy to have, and the company prospered in the post-war era, with everything from a new City Hall in Edmonton to highway projects in Toronto to involvement in the Montreal Metro. York University's campus, the South Line of the Calgary Subway and the Nova Scotia Highway were theirs as well, as well as countless developments across Canada and well into the United States. All the while, the company's style evolution shifted from the Art Deco design favored before the war into elements of Bauhaus-inspired modernism after it, slowly evolving into post-modernism after it. The company's works never, ever shied away from more complete designs than just the utilitarian, and it showed. And while their works tended to come out as rather more expensive than some rivals as a direct consequence, few in the booming post-war era complained about that, and the company became one of Canada's largest civil engineering firms by the 1960s.

The company's greatest works were, of course, in Toronto, where the firm was (along with the city's three largest architectural firms in Marani and Morris, Mathers and Haldenby and Shore and Moffat) among the city's master builders. The company was one of the loud advocates for the building of the Gardiner Expressway as a tunnel (something originally proposed by Metro Chairman Frederick Gardiner as a political ploy to stop opposition to the proposed overhead expressway but which proved remarkably popular with the city) and indeed got the job of engineering and building the Expressway, which they built (along with PCL Construction) between 1957 and 1962. The result was indeed something of a masterwork, particularly as it had been future-proofed by the designers and built with expansion in mind if needed (and it eventually was) and was designed to allow it to be covered over in some sections (the original plan by the firm envisioned this from the start, and a section of it was indeed covered up to accomodate an expansion of High Park and the rebuilding of the Sunnyside Pools in the 1970s) and expanded as needs rose. The building of the Highway 400 tunnel in the 1960s directly resulted in the bitter fight over the Spadina Expressway, which was cancelled by the province (against Metro's wishes) in 1970. After that, however, Roberts Cameron Miller made their mark forever in politics by the proposing of first the "New Scarborough Expressway" in 1972 and the city's "Streets For Toronto" program in 1974.

The "New Scarborough Expressway" was built almost entirely in the corridor being used by GO Transit commuter trains and by re-using the abandoned section of Highway 2A orphaned by the building of Highway 401, and included being dug underground and covered over in many areas, the resulting project creating rather more parkland than existed before in the area, along with being specificially-designed to take traffic off of surface streets and using 'stacked interchanges' to keep traffic flowing and reduce congestion as well as reducing noise. The plan also envisioned the building of a dedicated passenger railroad line parallel to the existing one, which was indeed built in the 1980s and 1990s. The plan was rather more visually interesting and better for the local neighborhoods than any before it (including the Gardiner) and it actually gained considerable support of what road could be in cities. The "Streets for Toronto" added to these ideals, with ideas such as grooved granite and reinforced concrete crosswalks, additional transit support, new traffic lights, road names embedded in the pavement at intersections, larger sidewalks with physical barriers in key places to keep collisions to a minimum and far greater amounts of trees and foliage along major roads.

Both plans saw wide usage, and the New Scarborough Expressway design elements were used in many major expressways in North America in the 1970s and 1980s, usually as backfits to existing roads. The Scarborough Expressway was opened in 1977, and the unique bridges, colored lane markings, stacked interchanges and design elements of it rapidly became de rigeur for North American highways, particularly ones in more densely-populated areas where space was at a premium, such as FDR Drive in New York City and Interstate 280 in San Francisco.

By the 1980s, road development had slowed to a crawl in North America, resulting in the company branching out into many other kinds of businesses, such as restoring its advancements in design in public buildings and growing its involvement in housing construction, with many of the housing projects built in North America in the post-war period by the 1980s needing modernization or complete replacement. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Chicago, where the infamous State Street Corridor projects needed complete replacement, as they had become absolutely infamous for crime and terrible living conditions. The "New Bronzeville" neighborhoods the company proposed in the late 1980s to replace the dilapidated projects became famous, as they replaced the high-rise tenements with a combination of new towers and new low-rise housing, and placed all the amenities needed for the residents living there, and including covers over neighboring Interstate 90/94 to created greater parkland and amenities. The design became the basis for similar projects in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston, Toronto and Vancouver, and other builders jumping on board, developing new plans for many of the worst-effected areas.

The company's expansions also brought them to Atlantic Canada, a part of the country that saw dramatic changes starting in the 1960s as industrial and resource economies that had sustained the region for centuries began to falter, leading eventually to closing of most of the province's coal mines in the 1960s, most of which never re-opened even after the 1973 energy crisis. (Part of the problems here were the multiple accidents that had befallen the Nova Scotia mines in the 1950s, which had given them a bad reputation for safety.) When the Nova Scotia government began the construction of the Lingan Nuclear Generating Station in 1975, the company got called on to be part of the design team, and their infrastructure design division moved out to Halifax in 1976 as part of this effort. But much more such jobs came from the region as a result - the Point Lapreau and Avalon nuclear power plants, the rebuilding of the Halifax and Shearwater naval bases, the region's electrical infrastructure and the Saint John and Bonavista shipyards resulted in a lot of work, and the whole company made the decision to move out of Toronto for Halifax in 1984, lured by the Province of Nova Scotia and the multiple jobs in Atlantic Canada, jobs that got bigger and more advanced as the oil and gas discoveries of the 1980s made the need for infrastructure advancements quite acute and yet also provided the funds to do such jobs.

Having long established themselves in Canada, the company began expanding into the United States in the 1980s as well, usually in partnership with the PCL Group, the relationship between the two firms going back to the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto in the 1950s. The company scored a huge coup building the new Comiskey Park, completing it in 1988, and also getting the job of dismantling the old one, tens of thousands of pieces of which were saved by the company in a move that was a foreshadow of things to come when teams moved their home stadiums. This was followed up a decade later with the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which opened in 1998.

As of 2020, Roberts Cameron Miller employs over 4,500 in its design studios and offices as well as nearly 40,000 construction employees in North America, the British Isles and Australia. The Halifax headquarters of the company, opened in 2005, is one of the city's design landmarks, designed and built of course by the company itself. The firm's operations have grown to include design work and proposals for clients all around the world, even if (so far) the company's construction operations have for the most part been in North America, Britain and Australia. The company continues to eye expansion into Asia and Western Europe.
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Tehachapi Nuclear
June 23, 1970
HQ: Bakersfield, CA

In the early 1960s, most of the country's power plants were operated using coal or natural gas. However, this was rapidly changing with the ascent of nuclear power, which had proven itself quickly to be cleaner if more than a bit more dangerous when not handled properly. Nonetheless, it was established fairly early on that nuclear power would be here to stay with the growth of trouble in the world's key oil deposits in the late 1960s. Said oil crises forced many transport habit changes, like a lower reliance on automobiles and use of commuter and light rail in major urban areas, or more efficient buses where city councils were a bit a bit cheaper.

Freight railroads were similarly affected by these necessary changes. Many had recently completed the conversion to diesels, and so realized they were in a fairly nasty pickle. However, many quickly realized that such issues could more than easily be solved with a third option - electrification. Soon, many railroads were drawing up plans to electrify large swathes of their network. In the process, they would often secure partnerships with various nuclear power companies that would agree to help provide the energy to keep the wires active and thus trains active. One railroad, however, decided to instead make its own nuclear power company.

The Southern Pacific had first employed electrification on the famous Central Pacific route from Sacramento, CA to Ogden, UT via Donner Pass in 1962. For years, the company had issues with crews having to avoid suffocation in the frequent tunnels on the route. In steam days, the answer was the iconic "Cab Forward" locomotive fleet. Now however, live wires had proven their worth as the main way to power trains running through the area. Now, SP determined, it was time to take these electric visions to the LA basin, where they had recently also constructed the Palmdale Cutoff, a line from Palmdale to Colton that'd allow trains to bypass Los Angeles if necessary.

Unfortunately, not many nuclear power companies in LA were interested in investing that much time and money. So the SP decided to create its own local company with the city of Bakersfield, which was where the electrification to Colton would begin. In 1968, the two parties agreed to a deal to create the Tehachapi Nuclear Power Company, so named for the famous rail landmark near Bakersfield. An additional advantage of SP owning this company was that the energy services it gave to the community of Bakersfield could become a tax write-off. Nonetheless, the company was up and running by 1972, in time for when the SP finally finished electrification from Bakersfield to Colton.

Eventually however, more and more of the SP would go on to be electrified. This in turn led to the company building new plants in Eugene, OR, Escondido, CA, Yuma, AZ, and Deming, NM. All of these plants have been major success stories, and in addition to helping the SP electrify their mainlines west of El Paso, they have also provided millions in power to locals. Back in Bakersfield, the ATSF also used the company's assistance when they electrified all their mainlines west of Barstow, CA to apply for California's then new laws about tax write-offs for environmentally efficient companies. Beause of Tehachapi, the ATSF was albe to electrify to San Diego via LA, and north to Oakland. Now having been independent since 1982, Tehachapi Nuclear is still one of several major nuclear companies in the US. Albeit not the extent of the others. However, their expertise in supporting railroads that seek electrification and a steady source of energy for the wires know they have someone to turn to for such jobs.
Bowring Brothers

Established: May 10, 1811
Headquarters: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Employees: 16,700
Industries: High-end fashion and personal accessories, home decor and furniture, home art and design, vessel operation and logistics, helicopter airline services, railroad car production

- Bowring Retail
-- Fairweather
-- Walkier, Benix and Company
-- Ayre and Sons
- Newfoundland Atlantic
-- Newfoundland Helijet
-- Newfoundland Shipyards (20%)
- Newfoundland Rail Car
- Atlantic Design Studios

One of the oldest companies in Newfoundland and today one with a wide presence both in Canada and across the Commonwealth of Nations, Bowring Brothers began when Benjamin Bowring and his wife Charlotte immigrated to Newfoundland from England in 1810, establishing the company that bears their family's name first in making clocks and selling dry goods in St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland. The dry goods store during the 19th Century expanded into a much larger store, followed by a number of additional stores first in Newfoundland and then in the rest of Atlantic Canada, followed by the company expanding into operating ships delivering goods first across eastern Canada and then across the Atlantic. By the time of Canada's confederation in 1867, the firm was operating as far as Upper Canada (today part of Ontario) and the Bowring family had established themselves as Newfoundland's great family of merchants and businessmen, acting not only as store owners and operators but also as shipping agents, ship owners and marketers of fish and lumber products across Canada and well into the British Isles.

After Newfoundland's joining Canada in 1895, the firm quickly got involved in the railways that had spread across Canada and grew its presence in Atlantic Canada, followed by New England and well into the United States' Eastern Seaboard. The wealth of the Bowring stores and shipping line in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century made them major shareholders in Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Railways (though in both cases the family bailed out before financial problems sunk both companies, resulting in them becoming part of Canadian National Railways after World War I), and after World War I the firm grew its footprint to Australia, New Zealand and France, followed by South Africa in the 1920s, and their steamship lines, which were renamed Newfoundland Atlantic in 1924, became a major player in Trans-Atlantic traffic between Canada and the British Isles.

While they were Newfoundland's tycoons, the Bowring family's fabulous wealth never went to waste and rarely left Newfoundland, as the company and its controlling family was proud of being Newfoundlanders, and even to this day they remain so, and the scale of their philanthrophy is famous in Canada, with Water Street in St. John's being often referred to as "The Place Bowring Built". The family has spent an estimated inflation-adjusted $300 million in philanthrophy over the years, and rather like the Eaton family in Toronto and the Desmarais family in Montreal, the Bowring clan was well-known for charitible causes, on scales ranging from small to gargantuan. In World War I the raising of the Royal Newfoundland Artillery regiments saw the Bowring family personally shell out nearly $1 million to equip the regiment with the absolute best British-manufactured Mark VII 6-inch artillery guns (that were famously put to good use at Vimy Ridge) which formed the first weapons used by the soon-to-be-famous regiment, which even to this day is widely considered to be the elite of Canada's artillery units. After the war the company's ships supplied many coastal towns and villages, but as prosperity brought ever-greater numbers of automobiles to Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Highway followed, and the family established many rest stops and locations, many of which remain in operation to this day. Of the family's later members, David Heard-Bowring was one of the most famous ones - an artillery crewman late in World War I, he was one of the commanders of the battery that engaged German warships during the attack on St. John's in July 1941, and Colonel Heard-Bowring took the Royal Newfoundland Artillery to Europe during World War II before returning home after the war to establish the Newfoundland Gunnery School at Fortune Harbour on the island, the Gunnery School evolving into one of the world's best artillery weapon schools and research centers.

After World War II, the company focused itself on its higher-end retail divisions and its shipping line, ordering ever-bigger vessels from Canadian and British shipbuilders and expanding their company into a major seller of higher-end products, ultimately withdrawing from the United States in 1964 to focus on the Commonwealth markets, though the company expanded beyond the Commonwealth into Israel in 1978 and Japan in 1980, followed by operations in Western Europe. Despite this focus, the Newfoundland Atlantic company stayed as part of the empire, and after the Newfoundland Railway was rebuilt in the 1980s, the company established the Newfoundland Rail Car company as part of the building of new industries on the island to make up for the job losses resulting from the dramatic drop in allowed catches by the cod fishery starting in 1982. The company's retail empire focused in furniture and home decor as well as high-fashion design and accessories. The Art Academy of Newfoundland, founded by Rae Perlin and Robert Pilot in 1959, was lavishly supported by the Bowring family, and many of its graduates returned the favor for them in the years that followed, giving the Bowring firm a nexus of high-style designers and artists starting in the 1970s, creating the "Newfie Style" of interior and exterior design that grew to have a following first across Canada and then in many other countries.

After the oil boom began in Newfoundland in the 1980s (and the Avalon Peninsula's average wealth soared with it), the company began expanding again, including partnering with Faulkner Corporation on Bretton, Goodman and Spencer and several luxury brands (the company sold the luxury brand shares to Faulkner in 1998) and developing the Livingstone Street shopping complex in the late 1980s. Newfoundland Atlantic purchased the Universal Helicopters firm in 1986, re-naming them Newfoundland Helijet and becoming a major rival to Sealand Helicopters (and Canadian Helicopters Corporation, which was formed by a merger including Sealand in 1988) and expanding the design portion of the business, with a second design campus set up in Stephenville in 1989 followed by a third in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1994. The company's operations expanded deep into Western Europe starting in 1986 and to Korea in 1996.

As of 2020, Bowring operates more than 750 stores across 19 countries, with Canada taking up the largest number of these (215 in all in Canada) and employing over 12,000 in its stores, while the shipping arms and Newfoundland Rail Car themselves employ over 4,500 people at the rail car plant in West St. John's and on the company's 46 vessels that operate around the world. The company remains based in St. John's and owned entirely by the Bowring family, and remains proudly a Newfoundlander-operated enterprise.
Canadian Pacific Corporation

Established: February 16, 1881
Headquarters: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Employees: 116,714 (worldwide)
Industries: Rail, road, seaborne and air freight transportation and logistics, hotel and resort operations, passenger cruise ships, satellite communications

- Canadian Pacific Railway
-- Soo Line
-- Duluth, Minnesota and Eastern
-- Burlington Northern (16.5%)
-- Delaware and Hudson (33.3%)
-- Erie Lackawanna (20%)
-- Wisconsin Central (20%)
-- Toronto Terminals Railway (50%)
-- Vancouver Island Railway (49%)
- Canadian Pacific Steamships
-- Cunard Line
-- Royal Caribbean
- Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts
-- Resorts World Las Vegas (25%)
- Canadian Pacific Intermodal
-- Canadian Pacific Trucks
-- Canadian Express Company
-- Reimer Yellow Roadway (14%)
-- Greater Toronto Terminals Company
-- Atlantic Terminals Company
-- Terra Transport (33%)
- Canadian Airlines (44.5%)
- CP Infrastructure
-- Stantec Engineering (15%)
-- Chiasson Normandeau
-- Canadian Bridge Company (50%)
-- Montreal Locomotive Works (21%)
- CP Communications
-- Allstream Communications (50%)
-- Telus Communications (20%)

One of the oldest and most famous companies of Canada, it's largest resort operator, one of its largest landowners, it's second-largest railroad line and second-largest vessel operator, Canadian Pacific is one of the companies practically synonymous with Canada, and just like its long-time archrival in Canadian National Railways, Canadian Pacific considers themselves to be a company that helped to build modern Canada, and in a great many ways that is no exaggeration.

Founded by a syndicate to build the railway across Canada that was promised to British Columbia upon entry into Confederation in 1867, the company's vast efforts to build a railroad across the Canadian landscape began with somewhat inauspicious beginnings, as the Canadian Pacific Railway was created in large part due to political calculations. After the Pacific Scandal resulted in the resignation of the country's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, in 1873, the progress of construction on the lines to the Pacific Coast were initially slow, a particular problem as the Northern Pacific railway was headed across the northern United States and it was felt that its completion would lead to the Americans moving into the less-populated areas of Western Canada. This in mind, the government of Alexander MacKenzie began building the railroad as a public works project, until MacDonald's return to power in 1878 saw him go looking for a private-sector builder.

He found it in the powerful Canadian Pacific syndicate, made up of eight men - George Stephen, Donald Smith, James J. Hill, Duncan MacIntyre, Richard B. Angus, John Stewart Kennedy, Norman Kittson and William Cornelius Van Horne - all of whom had access to enormous amounts of capital, needed to construct the railroad. The construction of the line under Van Horne (who had the job of building it) went far faster than originally intended though it was far from smooth, particularly in the muskeg of Northern Ontario and in the Rocky Mountains. Despite this the physical issues didn't end up becoming the biggest problems - money was, as the company was very nearly insolvent by early 1885, only to have its luck turn in the form of the North-West Rebellion. The railroad played a critical role in crushing the rebellion, and the additional funds from Ottawa after this allowed for the railroad to be completed in November 1885.

Having completed the railway trains began running from Montreal to Port Moody, British Columbia, in the summer of 1886, and the completed railway, and the gargantuan land grants to it, proved hugely profitable for the company. Van Horne quickly assembled a sizable system in Eastern Canada to feed the western portions of the line, and the company sold its vast land holdings to farmers willing to travel out to the Prairie Provinces to cultivate the land. The company soon found it had little difficulty selling the land, and the population growth of the area and subsequent economic development made the CPR a fortune, which it then plowed back into Canada. The CPR's directors sought to use every advantage they could and built a number of famous hotels, developed a telegraph service and proudly supported thousands of local businesses, creating vast amounts of traffic for the company during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

After World War I, the company, which operated what it called "world's greatest travel system" was soon locked into a battle with the newly-created Canadian National Railways and their legendary boss Sir Henry Thornton, but the CPR's first Canadian-born boss, Edward Wentworth Beatty, was very much up to the challenge. The two men, who led their respective transportation empires until their deaths in 1948 (Thornton) and 1950 (Beatty), became two of the greatest men in the history of Canadian transportation. Despite their companies being bitter rivals, the personal friendship between the two men was such that during the worst of the Depression both Thornton and Beatty had little issue with the idea of a merger between the CPR and CNR. Ottawa prevented that, of course, but its hardly a surprise that the two vast companies proved frequent copiers and imitators of each other's work. CPR's vast hotel empire, which included a number of Canada's most famous hotels (including the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta and The Algonquin Resort in New Brunswick) was copied by Canadian National in their British Columbia Hotel in Vancouver, Hotel Terra Nova in St. John's, The Bessborough in Saskatoon and Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta. Both battled repeatedly over the establishment of the best facilities for locomotives, with the CPR's famous Angus Shops in Montreal were matched by CNR's equally-incredible Transcona Shops in Winnipeg, and both built vast communications empires along their railroads, with CN Radio forming the genesis of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and CPR's own radio network ultimately becoming the genesis of the Canadian Radio and Television Corporation, the predecessor of today's CTV Globemedia. CNR's more European-design locomotives were matched by CPR's leaning towards American-style units, with CNR focusing on Garratt, Northern and Mountain-type steam engines starting in the 1920s, while CPR followed many American design leads with its huge 4-6-6-4 "Challenger" and 2-10-4 "Selkirk" types.

But what set the CPR apart from its rival was the vast fleet of steamships the company operated, sailing all over the world, and this led to spectacular growth in traffic across the Atlantic before World War II and then across the Pacific starting in the 1950s. The company began to have involvement in air travel in the late 1930s, forming Canadian Pacific Air Lines for real in 1941 in order to help make goods and personnel deliveries to support the war effort. The airline became a major source of profits for the company after the war, and Canadian Pacific Air Lines became one of the primary ways to get from Canada to the Far East, services that weren't a huge deal in the 1950s but which expanded dramatically in the 1960s and 1970s. Canadian Pacific Air Lines by 1975 was a proud operator of over 100 jet airliners and served destinations around the world, and in 1972 Ottawa scrapped the old limits on where and when Canadian Pacific could fly to, while beginning major upgrade efforts to Air Canada, leading to the slugout the two companies had from then until Canadian Pacific Air Lines merged with Pacific Western in 1988 and then absorbed Wardair the following year, creating Canadian Airlines.

The CPR was able to evolve with the times, though the company ultimate gave up on passenger services in the 1960s, letting CNR have that money-losing market until the formation of Via Rail Canada in 1984, which with the building of high-speed lines and ever-better service improvements was a profitable enterprise by the 1990s. The company's hotels remained a part of the company, and the vast ship fleet remained as well, with the company buying the Cunard Line in 1971 and rapidly finding the cruise markets of the company a better investment than its cargo ship fleet, leading to Cunard rapidly evolving into a high-class cruise line and its existing and new ships built to suit, as well as new resorts in Canada's Caribbean properties, a developed capped off by the Royal Jamaica Resort in Reading, Jamaica, which opened in 1984. The company's new hotels in the Caribbean were followed by the acquiring of the famed Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas in 1994, and growth into properties in Hawaii, Fiji, Australia, the United States and even Japan, opening up a flagship hotel in Tokyo, the Canadian Pacific Hotel Tokyo, which opened in May 2000.

The railroad business shifted over time as well. Forced to sell off their stakes in the "Hill Lines" in the United States as a condition of the Burlington Northern merger in 1970 and then having seen the Milwaukee Road become part of Conrail in 1977, the CPR found itself with two intense rivals for traffic across the northern United States and southern Prairie provinces even if one didn't count CNR. The company answered this challenge with the electrification of the route, raising the clearances on the Connaught and Spiral Tunnels and building of the Mount MacDonald Tunnel, all of which of which were completed in 1980-81. The development of more rail traffic further north and the growth of traffic out of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and the building of the Roberts Bank Superport, which opened in 1984, added to everyone's traffic loads. As usual CNR battled back and completed their own Vancouver-Edmonton and Seattle-Lethbridge electrifications in the late 1980s, as well as big growth in the trucking operations and line expansion, including some big jobs as rebuilding the former Kettle Valley and Kootenay divisions as a secondary main line.

By 2000, the company's rail operations had been comprehensively outdone by CNR, but the company remained a massive force on the North American railroad scene. The company was able to purchase back a stake in Burlington Northern in 1992 and purchased the Duluth, Minnesota and Eastern in 1995, expanding into the Powder River Basin coalfields, completing with the Burlington Northern, Chicago and Northwestern and Conrail in doing so, though the growth of demand for low-sulfur coal meant that there was plenty of traffic for all of the railroads, though the traffic direction shifts of the late 1990s and 2000s initially was no help to CPR, though the construction of a major Petro-Canada Fischer-Tropsch fuel plant in Caledon, Ontario, which opened in 2002, changed that, and it directly resulting in the CPR purchasing its Michigan Division from Conrail, which began operation in March 2004. The Michigan Division was a major expansion project, including being a partner in the Gordie Howe Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, in order to give more room for traffic from Chicago to Detroit and into Canada, and it quickly led to an agreement with Burlington Northern where the latter's freight headed for eastern Canada would go via CPR as far as Halifax. This agreement also directly led to the CPR completing their line from Moncton, New Brunswick, to Bedford, Nova Scotia, in March 2007.

As of 2020, the company operates 33,000 kilometres of railroad track across eight Canadian provinces, the Northwest Territories and sixteen American states, as well as huge trucking operations and 82 cargo ships (the majority of these operating Trans-Pacific routes in modern times) and 21 cruise vessels, as well as over 50 hotels and resorts around the world.
The Cathay Motor Corporation (China)

Set up in China in 1980 to build motor vehicles. Due to a lack on in house designs the decision was chose to license build a range of vehicles until capital was available to design their own models. British Leyland (Austin/Rover/Morris Group) cast offs which would be improved somewhat would be produced until the mid 1990's.

Car Division : 1980 - 1995

Cathay Model 1


Cathay Model 2


Cathay Model 3


Cathay Model 4


Although only starting out in 1981 making a mere 10,000 units each, the market in China grew gradually allowing a increase in production of 10,000 per year. When the final models left the factory in 1996, over 1.2 million units of each model had been sold. These models would be replaced by the now dated Rover Group Metro, Maestro & Montego

Car Division 1995 to 2005

Cathay Model 5


Cathay Model 6


Cathay Model 7


Cathay Model 8


In 2005 these models were replaced by a new range of family cars called the Cathay 9. 10 & 11 replacing the earlier models after each one had sold in excess of 2.1 million units each

Much obliged!
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The Cathay Motor Corporation (China)

Also needing a range of commercial vehicles, it was decided to buy the tooling from British Leyland for the discontinued Terrier, Bison and Marathon trucks and Daimler Fleetline buses to be produced locally until the company could design it's own models plus a license to build the Leyland National bus. The rights to build the defunct Morris J series of vans was also taken when Cathay bought the tooling from the BL Washwood Heath plant.

Tuck & Bus Division -1980 - 1990

Cathay T-1 Series 7.5 ton to 13 ton

truck 1.jpg

Cathay T-2 Series

17 ton.jpg

Cathay T-3 Series

44 ton.jpg

Cathay B-1 Series

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Cathay B-2 Series


Cathay V-1 Series

van 2.jpg

Cathay V-2 Series

van 3.jpg

Truck & Bus Division 1990 - 2000

Later on in 1990, Cathay bought the rights to manufacture the Leyland Roadtrain series of trucks which had been replaced by a DAF designed series of trucks along with a license to manufacture the T45 Roadrunner series. A contract was also signed with British Leyland (later Freight Rover) to license build their Sherpa 100 & 200 series of vans.

Cathay T-4 Series

truck 4.jpg

Cathay T-5 & T-6 Series

truck 3.jpg

Cathay V-3 Series

van 1.jpg

Much obliged!
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Mexican Aeropace Industries (MexAir)

Set up by the Mexican government in 1970 to license produce aircraft for the military and domestic market. Throughout the 70's & 80's, Mexair produced types of Bell and European helicopters for it's armed forces

In 1982 the first of 36 Mexair F-5's rolled out of their Mexico City factory for the air force.


That same year Mexair purchased the entire WG-30 program from Westland , to develop the aircraft for both the Mexican Army, Air Force & Navy.

WG-30 2.jpg

In the late 90's, Mexair felt the need to develop a series of 50 to 120 seat jet powered airliners as they spotted an opening in the market for this size of aircraft with airline companies. Good fortune befell them in 2002 as the Fairchild-Dornier 728 series of aircraft became still born after the parent companies who were funding this program both ceased trading. Quickly stepping in, Mexair bought the entire program and continued it's development launching it's A Series of aircraft in 2005 on the back of 125 orders from various carriers. By 2020, orders had total just under 800 units, a third of the market alongside Embraer's E series and Airvus's (Bombardier's) C series.

Dornier 1.jpg
Dornier 2.jpg
Dornier 4.jpg


A series 100: 50 seat
A series 200: 70 seat
A series 300: 105 seat
A series 400: 120 seat

A version of the A series was used as the basis of the Mexican Air Force AWAC's system carrying license built Israeli electronics

In late 2020, Mexair launched their B series program of airliners to do battle with both the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 as they saw the increase in low cost carriers around South and Central America . With over a 100 units on order already with Mexicana being the launch customer, the first of these should fly in 2025 and be delivered in 2027.
Rumours of a planned Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 class of aircraft program haven't been denied.


B series 100: 130 seats
B series 200: 156 seats
B series 300: 180 seats
B series 400: 211 seats

In 2010 in response to a joint Mexican Air Force and Mexican Naval Aviation for a transport/SAR & patrol aircraft to replace the country's C-130's, CN 225 etc, the Alenia C-27 Spartan was chosen. 36 units were ordered under a license manufacture, the first being delivered in 2012.


In response to a Mexican Air Force request for proposals for a replacement of their F-5's, SAAB's JAS 39 Gripen was winner with a license to produce 36 units to be built by Mexair from 2020.


Mexican Turbo

Formed in 1980 by the Mexican government, this company was set to produce turbine engines for their licensed aircraft and helicopter models. In 2005, their first in house engine designed for their upcoming A series of aircraft was launched. The Mexican Turbo MT-100 series has a thrust range of 14,000lb to 20,000lb. A further engine will be developed for the upcoming B series of aircraft called the MT-200 series in the 22,000 lb to 40,000 lb class.

Much obliged!
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SUKARNO ENGINEERING is a construction company, electronics manufacturer, and architectural firm established in East Indies in he 1930's. Today, it's the largest conglomerate of any based anywhere in the Dutch realm.
Thought for this one, I'd do a revision of an older idea.

Jarrett-Scholl Productions
HQ: Greensburg, IN

Les Jarrett and Greg Scholl both had been interested in trains from a young age. Les had had a variety of railroad experiences that included the Santa Fe in Independence, Kansas, and also once was allowed into the cab of a GN F-unit and riding first the New York Central in its final steam days and then Amtrak. Greg Scholl likewise had an interest in railfanning since early childhood; he lived in the Cincinnati area, and his father Warren also had a keen interest in railroads. Regularly, the Scholls would go around the Cincinnati area, capturing N&W steam, the last PRR K4s in the Midwest, NYC streamliners, C&O coal trains, and B&O freights. Warren often filmed these operations, and this knack eventually wore on to Greg over the course of the 1960s.

Eventually, Les Jarrett moved on to working as a TV news photographer and editor, with railroad videos being something he would do in a series of side projects. This eventually changed in 1982, when he met Greg Scholl as Grand Trunk Pacific #5629 hauled the first ever Indiana State Fair Train from Fishers to downtown Indianapolis. When Greg revealed that he and his brother Randy had shot some footage of steam operations in South Africa, Les offered to help with Greg's ambition to create a series of railroad programs detailing these operations. Greg jumped at the opportunity, and soon the two started work on editing and where possible improving Greg's footage. The final product, the South African Steam Collection, was released to critical acclaim in the railfan community.

The initial success of the programs convinced Les and Greg to collaborate again, this time on a video that detailed the 1987 NRHS Convention in Roanoke, VA where N&W #611, #1218, and #2156 appeared side-by-side, as well as with PRR and Virginian electrics. Further trips to see these two engines on other fantrips across the east, plus the operations on the Virginia Creeper Scenic and behind Mountain #105 [1] led to the two compiling their videos into the N&W Steam Veterans Trilogy in 1990. Another trip Greg helped set up in 1989 took them to see Santa Fe #2925, Union Pacific #844, and Southern Pacific #4458 at the LAUPT 50th Anniversary Celebrations, and the all three racing through Cajon Pass [2]. Other major events they highlighted included the 1990 NRHS convention in St. Louis, Santa Fe and SP action in the LA Basin, the Southern Steam Program's 25th Anniversary in 1991, and the Rio Grande's modern narrow gauge.

However, Les and Greg's biggest break would come in 1994, when they were approached with an idea for a series called America By Rail. In the series, the two would travel across the country in various Amtrak trains, and also film various tourist railroads and other major railroading destinations around the route. The first such program was The Heartland, which took viewers on board Amtrak's Broadway Limited and California Zephyr trains across the country. This film was a smash hit, and more installments kept coming until 2002, when the two felt they had treaded too much ground for there to be much genuinely new material.

The 2000s were generally uneventful aside from the continued production of railfan videos can releasing older titles on DVD. Around this time, Les and Greg also started experimenting with a wider use of background music - often using public domain music or music created for use in documentaries. The camera and footage quality also improved thanks to their use of newer and more sophisticated technology during this time.

In 2017, HBO approached the two with the possibility of a license to air their programs on the HBOMax streaming service. At first hesitant, the two agreed, and the America By Rail series was the first to be released to the service on June 23, 2018. Meanwhile, Les and Greg joined the National Press Photographers Association and the International Television Association in 1991 and 2002 respectively, and have since won Associated Press and United Press International awards for their work.

[1] ITTL, the Virginia Creeper Scenic is a tourist line on the old Abingdon Branch that O. Winston Link helped find in collaboration with the PRR, which completed its long term plan to absorb the N&W in 1972. Mountain 105 was likewise preserved ITTL at Roanoke and joined the program, as did Y6 #2156 soon after.
[2] Long story short, #4458 became the engine Rowland restored instead of 4449, and the 2925 also was restored for the Freedom Train.
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The Virginia Creeper Scenic Railroad
May 20, 1974
HQ: Abingdon, VA

In its original life, this railroad was the Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk & Western Railway, having been the Virginia-Carolina Railroad prior to its absorption into the N&W in 1918. For much of its life as a freight carrier, the branch mainly shuttled timber, meat, and agricultural products to the junction with the N&W mainline at Abingdon. However, the N&W executives soon realized that they could make a solid profit by operating seasonal tourist trains particularly during the summer and autumn.

Nonetheless, the railroad's real claim to fame - and the one that'd save it - was the work of photographer O. Winston Link. As part of his campaign to record the last great steamers of the Northeast, he often spent a bit of time on the N&W, and was charmed by the Abingdon Branch's rustic nature. His photographs of the lines eventually led to more and more people wanting to ride "The Virginia Creeper". Eventually, this got to the point that plans to dieselize all services were rejected, and steam survived on this line even after the rest of the N&W went to electrics. Eventually, the branch was spun off in 1972 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had recently taken over the N&W. The PRR was even generous enough to help strengthen the line's numerous bridges, and provide a stash of rolling stock that the PRR hadn't given off to the newly formed Amtrak at the time yet.

The first train ran over the line on May 20, 1974 behind N&W "Mollie" #382. A member of the famous M class of 4-8-0s, she was one of the three steam engines that worked normal runs until 1957 and the seasonal fantrips thereafter - the other two being her sisters #396 and #429. All three were operated intermittently on steam excursions, with a shed and maintenance facility being built at the end of the line in West Jefferson, NC. However, the growing popularity of the line meant that another locomotive would be necessary to help with the workloads. As such, the VSCR bought from the PRR a pair of ex-N&W ALCO C420s: #412 and #420, which would be used as backup in case one of the three steam engines were unable to work.

In the present, the railroad generally operates two trains headed in each direction. One starts from Abingdon, and the other from West Jefferson. The two trains meet at Whitetop, VA for a lunch break. There, passengers can either return to their first train or ride back to their original starting point on the other. Along the way, the railway uses numerous bridges that provide excellent views of the surrounding countryside and creeks. In addition to the regular excursion runs, the VCSR also runs special trains during holiday seasons where the engines and passenger cars decorated in a way that honors the holiday (for instance, Christmas time sees the 429 have a wreath placed on its headlight). Last, but far from least, the VCSR has acquired a stash of 1940s - 1960s era freight cars from railroads across the US like the ACL and ATSF for use on special photo freights.

This line was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places, alongside all of its equipment, by President Reagan in 1988. Both #82 and #429 have also reunited at various points with their more iconic sister #475, which has been clad in a western-style livery since the 1950s, and is more commonly seen on the Huckleberry Express excursion trains that run along the PRR's ex-N&W branch and mainline from Blacksburg to Roanoke via Christainsburg.

The NWHS' Early Photos of the Virginia Creeper Scenic

Taken in black-and-white to increase the feel of a photo from the old days, #382 is at the head of a photo freight near West Jefferson, NC on June 28, 1985.

This photos from the NW Historical Society depicts #429 leading an excursion near Lansing, NC early in the route's existence as the Virginia Creeper Scenic. In order to better distinguish the two engines, the VCSR runs the 382 with its headlight on a platform at the top of its smokebox, while the 429 has its headlight centered on the smokebox door.

#96 is seen her running around her train at Green Cove, VA. In the early days, the VCSR would often have the two engines switch trains at Green Cove so that the engine that came in from Abingdon could then return to that city, and the engine from West Jefferson could return likewise.
I neglected to mention that in 2012, the Virginia Creeper Scenic began plans to extend their line all the way to Elkland, NC. The terminus during its days as the N&W Abingdon Branch.
Canadian Airlines

Established: July 1, 1989
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Employees: 25,520 (worldwide)
Industries: Air Travel, passenger and freight

The second of Canada's massive airlines (after the government-owned behemoth Air Canada), Canadian Airlines was formed from the late 1980s mergers between Canadian Pacific Air Lines, Wardair and Pacific Western airlines, creating Canadair in July 1989. Created at a time of major uncertainty, but having the advantage of a substantial domestic market and Canadian Pacific's profitable international routes, the company began its efforts with rationalizing and improving its fleet, which by 1989 had been withering under Air Canada's near-continual growth since the mid-1970s, with Airbus A310s sold to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the airline steadying its fleet on Vickers, Canadair and Boeing products, with the latter largely limited to the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet and 727 trijet, with the company being a major user of the Vickers VC-16 and VC-21 and variants of Canadair Metroliner, and being the launch customer of the Bombardier F100 in 1990, the start of a long relationship with Bombardier.

The high wealth of the Canadian dollar made international travel for Canadians in the 1990s be a very profitable proposition, and the company focused its growth on Metropolitan Canada-to-Caribbean, Canada-to-USA and Pacific routes in the 1990s, though the company did keep European operations. The De Havilland Dash-8, introduced by Canadian Pacific in 1984, became a regularly-used aircraft on domestic flights, while the company's Boeing 747-400s got much of the job of its trans-Pacific routes until the first Bombardier WA Series airliners in 2003, which in many cases cycled the 747-400s off of these routes, but such was the demand for the Caribbean routes that the 747s got a new lease on life in flights from Western Canada to the Caribbean. Canadian Airlines was quickly a profitable enterprise, but in contrast to the massive promotion of ever-cheaper fares and tighter spaces on aircraft prevalent in the United States (and somewhat in Europe), the larger Canadian airlines quickly carved out a niche where they found people willing to pay a higher fare for having a much more comfortable experience - and both Canadian Airlines and Air Canada quickly adapted to this model, and Canadian Airlines' offerings to this included plush leather seats, all seats having a premium AVOD system, some of the best lounges in the world (the famed Haida Lounge at Vancouver International Airport is widely believed to be one of the best in the world) and ever-better on-board amenities, helped by the larger Boeing 747s and Bombardier WA320s.

By 2000, the competition between the two companies had gotten intense. Air Canada's venerable Concorde Bs were often thought of as kings of the European routes from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, but Canadian Airlines' Bombardier WA320s, delivered in 2003-04, did a fabulous job competing against the speedy Concordes by using greater on-board amenities, and the "Canadian cuisine" options of the airline by then - including cedar-plank salmon, fresh lobster, high-grade steak, Montreal's smoked meat and breakfast bagels, some of the best cheese plates in the world and top-drawer selections of hard drinks - tended to get attention as well. As shorter-distrance travel was rapidly taken over by trains starting in the 1990s in Ontario and Quebec and the 2000s in British Columbia and Alberta, the company began focusing far more of its resources on long-distance travel, something that greatly helped newcomer WestJet into the business.

By the end of that decade, the 9/11 attacks had left an almighty dent in the business, resulting in the company focusing its business on its core long-haul routes to Asia and Europe, but as profitability returned new markets beckoned, including additional European destinations beckoned, as well as a growth in the Commonwealth business, adding destinations in the Middle East and Africa - Jerusalem, Tehran, Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam - as well as growing American markets, even as Air Canada fought bitterly with them for it.

Over time the company moved towards the use of Vickers, Canadair and Bombardier aircraft over others, with the Boeing 747-400s being the last Boeing products to serve the company, lasting in service until 2012 with them, and the Bombardier F100 and F200 jets and the Canadair Metroliner II models took over the company short and medium term runs while the Bombardier WA320 and Vickers VC-24/25 twins (and later the VC-27) became the company's standard long-haul airliners. The company's rivalry with Air Canada didn't stop them from being willing to co-operate (along with others) on the development of modern supersonic airliners, the first of which (the Vickers Airbus VA400) entered service in 2021, with Air Canada first using theirs on Europe-to-Canada routes with Canadian Airlines first began using theirs on Vancouver-Tokyo and Vancouver-Hawaii-Sydney services. Both firms lost out in domestic market share both to train services as well as the likes of WestJet, but the two rivals still held a stranglehold over international services, something that drove WestJet nuts but there being little they could do about it and still make money at it.
The IMTN Industri Mobil Terbang Nurtanio (Indonesian Motor Company)

Set up like it's aerospace namesake in 1970, IMTN was intended to increase the industrialization of the Indonesian economy by producing cars and trucks for the domestic market. To allow this, IMTN signed a license with DAF Motors and Trucks to produce out of production models that would allow IMTN to get started, form a dealership network, production capacity and raise revenue until their own designs would be produced.

Type 1 (DAF 600)

DAF 600.jpg

Production totals: 1970 to 1974
100,000 units per annum

Type 2 (DAF 760 & Daffodil)

DAF 760.jpg

Production totals: 1974 to 1976
100,000 units each per annum

Type 3 (DAF 33)

DAF 33.jpg

Production totals: 1977 to 1980
300, 000 units per annum

Type 4 (DAF 44)

DAF 44.jpg

Production total: 1980 to 1983
400, 000 units per annum

Type 5 (DAF 46)

DAF 46.jpg

Production totals: 1984 to 1987
500,000 units per annum

Type 6 (DAF 55)

DAF 55.jpg

Production totals: 1988 to 1991
600,000 per anum

Type 7 (DAF 66)

DAF 66.jpg

Production totals: 1991 to 1991
700,000 per annum.

Also in 1970, seeing the market for a range of home built commercial vehicles, IMTN got a license from BLMC to produce their Morris J2 van and Scammell Crusader & Routeman trucks. These would be produced until 2000.

IMTN J-2 van


IMTN Routeman Rigid (sold in 4 x 2, 6 x 2, 8 x 4 axle specs)

Scammell Rigid.jpg

IMTN Crusader Tractor Unit (sold in 4 x 2, 6 x 2 axle specs)

Scammell Artic.jpg

In 2000, the company was bought out by a Chinese manufacturer Nanjing and thus produced their car, van and truck designs under their IMTN badge.

Much obliged!
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