Examples of realistic company names

The following names are names of real UK transport companies throughout history and are intended to give an example of the styles of names used for transport companies of various types and in various eras. Descriptions are sometimes given in brackets to explain the significance of the name. The idea is not that players use these exact names, but rather use the names as inspiration for their own names based on the naming conventions revealed by these names.

Canal companies

  1. Grand Junction Canal
  2. Grand Union Canal (a large, amalgamated canal)
  3. Kennet & Avon Canal (named after two rivers that it connected)
  4. Wilts. & Berks. Canal (named after the abbreviated names of two counties through which it ran)
  5. Oxford Canal (named after the city that it connected)
  6. Leeds & Liverpool Canal (named after the two cities that it connected)
  7. Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal (named after one of the towns that it connected and its junction with another canal serving another city)
  8. Norwich & Lowestoft Navigation (named after the towns that it connected. Note the use of "navigation" instead of "canal").

Early railway companies (pre-1948)

  1. Stockton & Darlington Railway (named after the towns that it connected)
  2. Eastern Counties Railway (named after the region of the country that it served)
  3. Great Western Railway (named after the region of the country that it served, demonstrating grand ambitions)
  4. Great Eastern Railway (amalgamated and enlarged from the Eastern Counties Railway)
  5. London, Tilbury & Southend Railway (named after the main towns that it served)
  6. Caledonian Railway (named after the region of the country that it served)
  7. North British Railway (named after the region of the country that it served)
  8. London & North Western Railway (named after both the main town and region of the country that it served)
  9. Taff Vale Railway (named after the valley in which it ran)
  10. Southern Railway (named after the region of the country that it served; this was a large, amalgamated railway company)
  11. Underground Electric Railway Company of London (descriptive of the town and type of service)

Later railway companies (post-1948)

  1. British Railways (the original name of the nationalised company)
  2. British Rail (the modified name of the nationalised company, circa 1966)
  3. Virgin Trains (named after the pre-existing brand of its operator)
  4. East Midlands Trains (named after the region of the country that it serves)
  5. Southern (referring to an earlier railway company name - see above)
  6. First Great Western (an amalgam of a pre-existing brand name and an old railway company name)

Early 'bus companies (pre-1986)

  1. London General Omnibus Company
  2. Ribble
  3. Tilling Group (named after the individual, Thomas Tilling, who founded it)
  4. Red & White (named after its livery)
  5. Scottish Motor Traction (named after the region that it served)
  6. Crosville Motor Company (a portmanteau of the names of its founders)
  7. Midland Red (named after its livery and area that it served)
  8. South Wales Transport (named after the area that it served)
  9. United Counties (the name of an amalgamated company)
  10. National Express (the name of a coach company run by the state, later privitised)
  11. Green Line (the name of the medium-distance country services run by London Transport in the 1930s and onwards; now a private coach company)
  12. Southdown (named after a geographical feature of the area that it served)
  13. East Kent Road Car Company (named after the area of the county that it served)

Later 'bus companies (post-1986)

  1. Arriva (a group brand name)
  2. First Group (a group brand name)
  3. Stagecoach (a group brand name)
  4. Blue Triangle (an abstract name based on the logo)
  5. Ipswitch Buses (named after the town that it serves)
  6. Pete's Travel (named after its founder)


  1. Imperial Airways
  2. British Overseas Airways Corporation
  3. British European Airways
  4. British United Airways
  5. Monarch
  6. British Airways
  7. British Midland
  8. Laker Airways
  9. Caledonian Airways
  10. Virgin Atlantic
  11. Thomas Cook Airlines
  12. Flybe