Norfolk and Western Railroad Company (1881-1896)
The Norfolk and Western Railroad was organized in 1881 from the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad, which had been sold to the Philadelphia investment banking firm of E.W.Clark and Company. The Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio, in turn, had been created in 1870 by the merger of three Virginia railroads with antebellum origins: the Norfolk and Petersburg (connecting these two cities), the Southside (running from Petersburg to Lynchburg), and the Virginia and Tennessee (running from Lynchburg to Bristol on the Tennessee border).
Primarily a line carrying agricultural products at its inception, the Norfolk and Western rapidly became associated with the mineral development of the southwestern part of Virginia and West Virginia. In mid-1881 it acquired the franchises to four other lines: the New River Railroad, the New River Railroad, Mining and Manufacturing Company, the Bluestone Railroad, and the East River Railroad. These became the basis for Norfolk and Western's New River Division, which ran to the coalfields to the west.
Much of the early history of the Norfolk and Western Railroad can be seen as expansion and consolidation with other lines. In 1890, it acquired the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, which ran from Roanoke, Virginia, to Hagerstown, Maryland. By 1891, an Ohio extension was well underway, giving the railroad access to the industrial Midwest. In 1892, Norfolk and Western leased the Roanoke and Southern Railroad, connecting Roanoke with Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and in 1893 it leased the Lynchburg and Durham, connecting Lynchburg with Durham, North Carolina. But this program of expansion, coupled with the economic depression of the 1890s, forced the railroad into receivership in 1895. It emerged as the reorganized Norfolk and Western Railway the next year.
Found in 17 Collections and/or Records:
The collection contains a photograph of group believed to be Roanoke, Virginia employees of Norfolk & Western Railway Company.
The collection contains the accounting ledgers of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, providing detailed monthly account entries for each of the company's divisions and monthly summaries and analyses of expenses for the company as a whole.
Large map shows the proposed line and existing lines in and around Norfolk. Additional maps show the terminal facilities at Lambert Point and the passenger and freight facilities at Norfolk.
Map shows city blocks in Radford, Virginia, including a distance chart, travel and freight statistics, and a larger, contextual map.