If I said to you...

R27's picture

"Railway" what typeface would you think of?

Stephen Coles's picture

Railroad Gothic or any heavy grotesque. What era?

R27's picture

Contemporary, but anything alluding to tracks or speed / movement without being cheesy!

Si_Daniels's picture


barthak's picture

Frutiger (because that's what the Dutch railway company uses).

Nick Job's picture

Rail Alphabet, is there another?

Prior to that, Gill Sans (and of course Johnston).

After that, Brunel.

These are all very British 20th Century answers.

Why do you ask?

1985's picture

Something like ITC Lubalin might work, it is not what I would think of initially but it alludes to tracks as you suggest, the slabs forming the rails and the verticals forming the slats.

Nick Job's picture

> Contemporary, but anything alluding to tracks or speed / movement without being cheesy!

When you put '4468' on a locomotive that subsequently breaks the steam record the font has the value of speed attached to it regardless of whether it says speed or not.

I think the same of Antique Olive Nord simply because of Air France's livery applied to Concorde.

In both cases, speed is not inherently present in the design until the association has been forged.

Looking for a speed or movement connotation might not be right?

It all depends...

Richard8039's picture


Driving that train, high on cocaine,
Casey jones is ready, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

This old engine makes it on time,
Leaves central station bout a quarter to nine,
Hits river junction at seventeen to,
At a quarter to ten you know its travlin again.

lore's picture

I'm with Nick: Edward Johnston's purpose-designed Undergound Sanserif for London Transport and the break of tradition when Southern Railway "went modern" and adopted Gill Sans. Why do you ask?

aluminum's picture

Big, black, extended, sans serif faces.

Or lots of grafitti.

Is there a site out there that shows off railroad car typography? There's some great stuff out there.

T Bones's picture

Contemporary: Jean Francois Porchez's Parisine.

Ehague's picture

"Frutiger (because that’s what the Dutch railway company uses)."

I believe Amtrak does as well.

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