If you came to this page from a Web Search Engine, you might want to start at the beginning of this article to understand its purpose and structure. Just click on the third link in the breadcrumb below to go to the first page in this article. This is page 2.

You are at: CarrTracks > Library > Realistic Names for Your Model Layout

Name Prefix

There are many prefixes or suffixes that may be added to ordinary words or names to form town names. We will begin with common prefixes. The most frequently used prefix is New to form names like: New York, New Castle, etc. For each word, I will list the word and its frequency, and then list several states where it occurs most often.
New 379, PA 45, OH 33, NY 27, IN 22, MO,IL 15, VA 14
This entry means that there are 379 towns across the US with New as the first part of the town name. Pennsylvania has 45 towns with New as part of a town name. Where the numbers are the same, the states are listed together, such as Missouri and Illinois have 15 each.

As towns expanded, the outlying areas took on their own identity by adding North, South, East or West to the original name.
West 331, NY 46, MA 27, PA 26, ME 21, OH 20, VT 19, IL 13
East 209, NY 37, ME 24, VT 19, PA 19, MA 18, CT 14, NH 10
North 207, NY 28, MA 27, ME 18, OH 17, VT 14, CT 10
South 178, MA 24, NY 23, ME 13, PA 12, CT 11, VT 9

Union Pacific local at North Portland Jct

Train SENP (Seattle to North Platte manifest) rolls into North Portland Junction. As the name implies the junction is just north of the city of Portland, OR.

The next most common prefix is Saint and it's Spanish equivalent San and Santa. Most often the root name is male, such as Charles, which occurs 10 times. This is also true in Spanish as San occurs more often and is used with male names (Luis 4) while Santa is used with female names (Rosa 4).
Saint 189, MN 15, MO 14, IL,LA 11, PA,MI 9, IN 8, IA,KY 7
San 149, CA 36, TX 19, NM 14, NY 6, FL,AZ 5
Santa 28, CA 13, TX 5, NM 3, UT 2

Other common prefixes are:
Mount 181, PA 16, OH 13, IL 11, NY 10, AR,WV 9, NC,NJ 8
Lake 151, FL 15, NY,MN 14, CA,MI 11, PA 7, WI,IL 6
Fort 112, FL 9, NY 7, CO,TX,VA,WV 5, AL,AZ,CA,MT,ND,OH,OK 4
Port 99, NY 15, PA,TX 8, OH 7, MI,NJ 6, VA,WA,WI 4

Other fairly common prefixes are: Middle 59, Big 59, Grand 54, Little 52, Long 48, High 42, Old 32, and Point 20. Some of these prefixes can also be a suffix, such as: Point, Lake, and Port.

Meet the author.