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Punny Names for Model Railroad Industries…

May 17, 2008

Are getting a bit old, in my opinion. Although the ocassional REALLY “RAILY” pun is excusable. Who would have remembered the Gorre& Daphetid so well if it hadn’t been for that name?

That’s not to say that Puns didn’t exist in real life though, I recently found the mother of all Gas Station puns…the “Toot-n-kum-in” probably named after the discovery of a certian Egyptian Pharoh… sheesh.

See the Photo here:

Art Curren, a top-notch kitbasher extraordinaire was notorious for such classics like:

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe – Attornies at law.

Hardly Abel Mfg. Co.

Perry Shibbel Fruit& Produce Co-op. (If you don’t think this is a pun, say it aloud, fast.)

Gambol, Waite& Hope Co.

Abe Etter Distributor

B. Fine Corp.

The Owen Plentee Co.

A Frugal Co.


Notable model railroader Charlie Comstock had included pun-infused names into his industries. The name for the glass company really blows.. Brough-Caan Glass Co. Ouch. (Multiple puns intended)


No doubt there’s an undiscovered plethorea of just plain cheesy company names out there waiting to be ‘incorporated’ into someone’s layout. (Pun intended)

Here’s a list of actual businesses, mostly bookshops and hair salons, that have punny names:


Overall, it is a bit of a tired practice that if the pun is too outrageous, may actually HURT your modeling. I think a 10:1 ratio of punny names would be acceptable.

There is another angle to the punny names though, the suggestive names.

An Example of this would be Hoffa Cement, the name which has become popular with manufactures Walther’s (As an alternative name for their Medusa Cement) and Model Power.


What do you think about punny structure or railroad names?

Please click on the COMMENT link below to tell me  your views on the subject, or submit our own punny names.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. nscale permalink
    May 21, 2008 2:02 am

    I think puns as business names are a rediculous notion, and really make no sense to me. Model railroaders strive for realism in every aspect of the hobby — and many people complain when a minor item on a layout isn’t prototypical. And yet, those same people often use pun business names. I believe this is the single biggest thing you can do to destroy realism. I would rather see a random name like “W.P. Riley & Sons” rather than a pun and would not EVER use a pun name on my layout.

  2. June 7, 2008 1:37 pm

    Some people are after maximum realism. But in my case, I think most of what we do is a pastiche of reality, most of our layouts are several orders of magnitude smaller than the real thing. In that regard, I’m happy to use puns.

    In my case, I needed some bulk cargo for my 1890s layout to haul. The obvious thing would be coal, but if I haul my own coal, that removes a lot of interchange traffic with other really interesting coal hauling railroads. So I’ve decided that my railroad will haul the ore for Administratum (, giving me a good excuse to run hopper cars in relatively short trains (this stuff would be quite dense, of course.) But what to name that ore? After some consultation with the people on railroad-line forums, I’ve decided that the ore would be named Collarite, and it would tend to come in two forms, depending on the concentration of associated copper. Ore without much copper would be white, while ore with a lot of copper would be blue.

    Right now I’m pondering the name for a background factory building. “Carter’s Little River Mills” was done along time ago (Frank Ellison?) and the product it’s named after isn’t very well known now.


  3. July 21, 2008 3:09 am

    On my own railroad, the Goldfield & Hangtown, at a town named Tonopah, I have the Bonebrake Manufracturing Co. In Hawthorne, the blacksmith’s sign reads, “exquisite footwear for discriminating equines”. At Hangtown, the newsboy sells the Hangtown Daily Noose. At the Glendale (Calif) Model Railroad Club, the nudist colony sign reads, “Frosty Fanny Nudist Camp. Please do not feed the bares.”

  4. June 30, 2009 5:51 pm

    Punny names don’t necessarily bother me when they’re subtle. Trouble is, modelers tend to use names that are about as subtle as a sledgehammer; some of them are so un-original and over-used (e.g., M.T. Warehouse) that about all they’ll induce is rolling eyes. Years ago I used to include a punny name or two (Itzhall Mine is the only one I remember offhand), but any more I stay away. It’s hard to take a layout seriously when you’ve got things like Lew Skroo’s Hardware.

  5. Jim Barry permalink
    August 21, 2010 10:40 pm

    I love puns; the worse the better. I have a list of almost 200 business names. About half of them are my own. I went through the phone book looking for family names to combine for businesses. One of mine is “Kohl Mining, Official Supplier to Santa”.

  6. May 11, 2013 6:17 pm

    Whuchoriz Mine

  7. May 11, 2013 6:18 pm

    I also had a Tank Filler called “Vinn Fuels” – so when I set a cut of tanks there they were picking up Vinn Diesel…

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