< NWHS N&W Timeline

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1982 Norfolk & Western Railway is consolidated with the Southern Railway to form Norfolk Southern Corporation.