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Railroads. Eller, p. 66. Eller, p. 74. Corporate Timeline of the Norfolk & Western Railway* 1836 City Point Railroad chartered by Virginia State Legislature. 1838 City Point Railroad begins operations on September 7 between Petersburg and City Point on the James River.

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Corporate Timeline of the Norfolk & Western Railway*

1836

City Point Railroad chartered by Virginia State Legislature.

1838

City Point Railroad begins operations on September 7 between Petersburg and City Point on the James River.

*Norfolk and Western Historical Society, http://www.nwhs.org/nw_timeline.html


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1853

Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad organized; construction started same year, but track construction not completed for an additional five years.

1854

South Side Railroad completed from City Point, VA through Petersburg to Lynchburg.

1856

Virginia & Tennessee Railroad completed October 1, extending 204 miles from Lynchburg, VA to Bristol at the Tennessee state line.


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1858

Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad begins operations between its namesake cities on September 1.

1870

Shenandoah Valley Railroad organized as a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad.


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1870

Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad formed on November 12 from the consolidation of the City Point Railroad, Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad, and Virginia & Tennessee Railroad; included mainline trackage of 408 miles stretching from Norfolk, VA to Bristol at Tennessee state line.

1876

Cincinnati & Eastern Railway organized to operate railroad from Cincinnati to Portsmouth, OH.


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1878

Construction of the Scioto Valley Railway completed.

1879

Construction of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad begins.

1880

Cincinnati & Eastern Railway leases Columbus & Maysville Railroad and Hillsboro Short Line.


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1881

Shenandoah Valley Railroad construction completed from Hagerstown, MD to Basic City (Waynesboro), VA.

1881

Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad sold under foreclosure on February 9 to E. W. Clark & Co., and renamed Norfolk & Western Railroad.


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1882

Shenandoah Valley Railroad completes track from Basic City to Roanoke, VA and connects with Norfolk & Western Railroad.

1883

Norfolk & Western Railroad completes New River Division to Bluefield, WV and on May 21 begins operation of regular traffic on this extension.


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1883

On March 12 the first car of Pocahontas coal is loaded at Pocahontas, VA.

1884

On August 25, Cincinnati & Eastern Railway reaches Portsmouth, OH.

1885

Shenandoah Valley Railroad forced into receivership.


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1885

Norfolk & Western Railroad organizes the Pocahontas Coal Company to act as General Agent for coal mine operators.

1885

Coal Pier No. 1 opened at Lambert's Point, VA on March 12 for loading coal into ships.


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1886

On June 1, Norfolk & Western Railroad converted track gauge from 5 foot gauge to the standard gauge of 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches.

1887

Construction on the Clinch Valley Extension to reach from Bluefield to Norton, VA is begun; completed in 1890.


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1887

Construction of Lynchburg & Durham Railroad begun at Lynchburg. On January 5, Cincinnati & Eastern sold under foreclosure to become Ohio & Northwestern Railroad.

1887

Abingdon Coal & Iron Railroad begins construction between Abingdon, VA and Damascus, VA; eventually line will reach into North Carolina.


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1888

Construction of the Roanoke & Southern Railway is begun at Winston-Salem, NC.

1888

Ohio & Northwestern goes into receivership.

1889

Roanoke & Southern Railway begins operations.


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1890

Construction of the Ohio Extension is begun, to reach from Elkhorn, WV to Kenova, WV.

1890

Construction of Lynchburg & Durham Railroad completed to Durham, NC.


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1890

In September, Shenandoah Valley Railroad sold under foreclosure and reorganized as the Shenandoah Valley Railway; in December, Shenandoah Valley Railway is acquired and absorbed by Norfolk & Western Railroad.

1890

Scioto Valley Railway reorganized as Scioto Valley & New England Railroad; sold to Norfolk & Western Railroad to become its Scioto Division.


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1891

Ohio & Northwestern reorganized as Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia Railroad.

1892

Ohio Extension is completed on September 25.

1892

Big Stony Railway organized to operate from connection with N&W at Potts Valley Junction, VA to Interior, VA.


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1892

Norfolk & Western Railroad leases Roanoke & Southern Railway, which operates from Roanoke, VA to Winston-Salem, NC, and operated as the Winston-Salem Division of the N&W; leases Lynchburg & Durham Railroad and operated as the Durham Division of the N&W.

1892

Roanoke & Southern Railway completes construction to Roanoke.


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1894

Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railroad Company takes over Abingdon Coal & Iron Railroad.

1895

State of West Virginia enacts law prohibiting any railroad corporation from engaging in business of buying/selling coal or coke; E. W. Clarke & Co. forms Flat Top Coal Land Association.

1896

Norfolk & Western Railroad sold under foreclosure and reorganized as Norfolk & Western Railway.


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1896

Roanoke & Southern Railway purchased outright by Norfolk & Western Railway at time of reorganization.

1896

Lynchburg & Durham Railroad absorbed into Norfolk & Western Railway.

1898

Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railroad changes name to Virginia-Carolina Railway.


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1899

Iaeger & Southern Railway constructed from Iaeger to Ritter, WV.

1901

New River, Holston & Western Railroad operated from a connection with N&W at Narrows, VA and eventually extended to Suiter, VA.


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1901

Lands held by Flat Top Coal Land Association acquired by Norfolk & Western Railway and vested in its subsidiary, the Pocahontas Coal & Coke Company.

 1901

Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia Railroad absorbed into Norfolk & Western Railway.


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1902

Iaeger & Southern Railway purchased by Norfolk & Western Railway; eventually N&W extends line to connect with Clinch Valley Extension at Cedar Bluff, VA.

1902

Construction begins of the Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Company between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, VA.


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1903

Big Sandy & Cumberland Railroad begins operations; line would eventually operate from its connection with N&W at Devon, WV to Grundy, WV.

1903

Big Sandy, East Lynn & Guyan Railroad completed and opened for service.

1904

Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Company opens for service on September 24.


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1905

Big Stony Railway acquired by Norfolk & Western Railway and line is extended and operated as its Potts Valley Branch.

1906

Catawba Valley Railway & Mining Company constructed from Salem, VA to Sandburg, VA.

1908

Big Sandy, East Lynn & Guyan Railroad absorbed by Norfolk & Western Railway.


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1909

Catawba Valley Railway & Mining Company taken over by Norfolk & Western Railway and operated as its Catawba Branch.

1911

Winston-Salem South Bound Railway constructed as joint enterprise of Norfolk & Western Railway and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad; line connects N&W at Winston-Salem with ACL at Wadesboro, NC.


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1912

Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Company is taken over by Norfolk & Western Railway and operated as its Blacksburg Branch.

1914

Norfolk & Western Railway gains control of Virginia-Carolina Railway.

1919

Norfolk & Western Railway absorbs New River, Holston & Western Railroad and operates it as its Narrows Branch.


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1919

Virginia-Carolina Railway merged into N&W and operated as its Abingdon Branch.

1923

Norfolk & Western Railway purchases Big Sandy & Cumberland Railroad.

1928

Former line of Big Sandy & Cumberland rebuilt by Norfolk & Western Railway and operated as its Buchanan Branch.


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1939

Pocahontas Coal & Coke Company renamed Pocahontas Land Company.

1954

Norfolk & Western Railway acquires the Chesapeake Western Railway which is operated as a subsidiary of the N&W; the Chesapeake Western operated from its connection with N&W at Elkton, VA through Harrisonburg to Staunton, VA.


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1959

Virginian Railway absorbed by Norfolk & Western on December 1.

1962

Atlantic & Danville Railway taken over by Norfolk & Western Railway; operated separately and renamed Norfolk, Franklin & Danville Railway.


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1964

Norfolk & Western Railway absorbed New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road) and assumed that road's lease of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway; leased the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway and the Wabash Railroad; also acquired the Sandusky Line and Sandusky Coal Docks of the Pennsylvania Railroad; acquired the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad.


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1968

Norfolk & Western Railway, through its subsidiary, Dereco, Inc., acquired control of the Delaware & Hudson Railway and the Erie-Lackawanna Railway.

1976

Norfolk & Western Railway relinquishes control of Erie Lackawanna Railway when EL became part of Conrail.

1981

Norfolk & Western Railway acquires the Illinois Terminal Railroad.


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1982

Norfolk & Western Railway is consolidated with the Southern Railway to form Norfolk Southern Corporation.



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  • In 1881 it began extending a branch from Lebanon KY to Jellico TN.

  • In 1891 that line was extended to Norton VA.

  • Between 1879 and 1881 it reached the western KY and southern IL an IN coalfields.

  • Between 1909 and 1912 it laid track along the Cumberland and Kentucky Rivers, accessing the Harlan and Perry Co. coalfields.



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Eller, p. 100 in 1986.


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Eller, p. 133 in 1986.


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Baltimore and Ohio in 1986.

  • The Maryland and Virginia legislatures pass the acts of incorporation in 1827.

  • In 1842 the line reaches Martinsburg and Hancock WVA.

  • 1853, the line reaches Wheeling, the first line from the Atlantic to the Ohio River.


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Eller, p. 68 in 1986.


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Eller, p. 142 as the Chesapeake and Ohio.


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Eller, p. 151 as the Chesapeake and Ohio.


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The Clinchfield Railroad as the Chesapeake and Ohio.

  • The Clinchfield was originally conceived as chartered as Charleston, Cincinnati and Chicago Railroad in 1886.

  • Original backing included the Baring Brothers of London. When they failed in 1893, so did the 3-C.


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  • The assets were purchased for $550,000, which consisted of: as the Chesapeake and Ohio.

    • 171 miles of operating line betweenb Camden SC and Marion NC

    • 20 miles of operating line between Chestoa and Johnson City TN

    • 85 miles of substantially finished grade between Johnson City and Dante VA

    • 60 miles of finished grade between Ashland and Whitehouse KY


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  • Re-chartered as the Ohio River and Charleston Railroad Company

  • An 1899 map projected the line running from Ashland KY up the Big Sandy River, then up the Pound and Cranesnest Rivers, through Fuller’s Gap to Tom’s Creek, down the Guest River to the Clinch, then into the Carolinas.

  • The owners lost interest, and began selling off portions of the assets.


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  • George L. Carter purchased operating portion in 1902. Carter was already invested in the SW VA coalfields, and the intent was to develop the railroad as a coal hauler.

  • In 1908 the new charter was granted to the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio.

  • Carter wisely spared no expense in construction, minimizing the grade and re-enforcing the tunnels.


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