Norfolk Southern Corp. history, profile and history video
Norfolk Southern Corp. transports coal and industrial products. It engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods. The company also transports overseas freight through several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. It operates an intermodal network through its subsidiary, Norfolk Southern Railway Co., which operates as a container port in the Eastern United States and provides connections to other rail carriers. The company was founded on July 23, 1980 and is headquartered in Norfolk, VA.“
“Norfolk Southern History
Norfolk Southern’s predecessor railroads date to the early 19th century. The three main branches of the current corporate family tree were systems for many years themselves:
- Norfolk & Western, formed in 1881.
- Southern Railway System, formed in 1894.
- Conrail, formed in 1976 from the Penn Central Railroad (1968–1976), perhaps the most controversial conglomerate in corporate history. Penn Central itself was created by merging three venerable rivals — the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR, 1846), the New York Central Railroad (NYC, 1831), and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad(NYNH&H, 1872) — as well as some smaller competitors.
The SR’s earliest predecessor line was the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road. Chartered in December 1827, the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company became the first in the nation to offer regularly scheduled passenger train service with the inaugural run of the Best Friend of Charleston on December 25, 1830.
Another early predecessor, the Richmond & Danville Railroad (R&D), was formed in 1847 and expanded into a large system after the American Civil War under Algernon S. Buford. The R&D ultimately fell on hard times and in 1894, it became a major portion of the new Southern Railway (SOU). Financier J. P. Morgan selected veteran railroaderSamuel Spencer as president. Profitable and innovative, Southern became in 1953 the first major U.S. railroad to completely switch to diesel-electric locomotives from steam.
Norfolk & Western
The City Point Railroad, established in 1838, was a 9-mile (14 km) railroad in Virginia that started just south of Richmond — specifically, City Point on the navigable portion of theJames River, now part of the independent city of Hopewell — and ran to Petersburg. It was acquired by the South Side Railroad in 1854.
After the Civil War, it became part of the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad (AM&O), a trunk line across Virginia’s southern tier formed by mergers in 1870 by William Mahone, who had built the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad in the 1850s. The AM&O was the oldest portion of the Norfolk & Western (N&W) when it was formed in 1881, under new ownerswith 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 N&W acquired the Virginian Railway (1959), the Wabash Railway, and the Nickel Plate Road, among others.
NS was created in 1982 from the merger of N&W and SOU, both profitable companies. The new company was given the name of the Norfolk Southern Railway, an older line, acquired by SOU in 1974, that served primarily North Carolina and the southeastern tip of Virginia. Headquarters for the new NS were established in Norfolk, Virginia.
The merger aimed to compete in the eastern United States with CSX Transportation, formed after the Interstate Commerce Commission’s 1980 approval of the merger of theChessie System and the Seaboard System.
Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) was a 11,000-mile (18,000 km) system formed in 1976 by bringing together several ailing northeastern railway systems into a government-owned corporation. Conrail had become profitable after the Staggers Act in 1980 largely deregulated the U.S. railroad industry.
In 1996, CSX bid to buy Conrail. Norfolk Southern, fearing that CSX would come to dominate rail traffic in the eastern U.S., responded with a bid of its own. On June 23, 1997, NS and CSX filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for authority to purchase, divide, and operate the assets of Conrail. On June 6, 1998, the STB approved the NS-CSX application, effective August 22, 1998.
NS acquired 58% of Conrail assets, while CSX got the remaining 42%, including about 7,200 miles (11,600 km) of track, most of which was part of the former Pennsylvania Railroad. NS began operating its trains on its portion of the former Conrail network on June 1, 1999, closing out the 1990s merger era.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “Norfolk Southern Corp“