WPW  07-09-2009 KEEP@ 1


The Norfolk Southern Railway (reporting mark NS) is a major Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. The company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada. The most common commodity hauled on the railroad is coal from mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The railroad also offers an extensive intermodal network in eastern North America. The current system was formed in 1982 with the creation of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, a holding company, and on December 31, 1990, the Southern Railway was renamed Norfolk Southern Railway, and control of the Norfolk and Western Railway was transferred from the holding company to the Norfolk Southern Railway. In 1999, the system grew substantially with the acquisition of over half of Conrail. Southern Railway

  The South Carolina Canal and Rail Road, the earliest predecessor line, was chartered in December 1827 and ran the nation's first regularly scheduled passenger train on December 25, 1830. The Richmond and Danville Railroad (R&D), formed in 1847, which expanded into a large system after the American Civil War under the leadership of Algernon S. Buford.

  When the R&D fell on hard times financially in the early 1890s, it became a major portion of the newly created Southern Railway in 1894. Financier J.P. Morgan selected veteran railroader Samuel Spencer as President to head the firm, which became well-known as both profitable and innovative. Southern Railway was the first major U.S. railroad to completely switch to more efficient diesel-electric locomotives from steam in 1953.

   Norfolk and Western

  The City Point Railroad was a nine-mile railroad just south of Richmond, Virginia established in 1838 which ran from City Point (now part of the independent City of Hopewell) on the navigable portion of the James River to Petersburg, Virginia. It was acquired by the South Side Railroad in 1854. After the War, it became part of the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad (A,M&O), a trunk line across Virginia's southern tier formed by mergers in 1870 by William Mahone, who had been builder of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad in the 1850s. The A,M&O was the oldest portion of the Norfolk and Western (N&W) when it was formed in 1881, under new owners with a keen interest and financial investments in the coal fields of Western Virginia and West Virginia, a product which came to define and enrich the railroad.

 In the second half of the 20th century, the profitable N&W had already acquired the Virginian Railway, the Wabash Railway, and the Nickel Plate Road, among others, before it combined with the also profitable Southern Railway to form the new Norfolk Southern.