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Norfolk and Western Railroad Company (1881-1896)

 Organization

Historical Note

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:

Norfolk & Western Railway Company Photograph

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2009-019
Abstract

The collection contains a photograph of group believed to be Roanoke, Virginia employees of Norfolk & Western Railway Company.

Dates: [1925?]

Norfolk and Western Railroad Account Ledgers

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2010-075
Abstract

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.

Dates: 1892 - 1895

Norfolk and Western Railway Accounting Department Personnel Records

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-1992-058
Abstract The Norfolk and Western Railway Accounting Department Personnel Records are comprised of employee records of the company's accounting department from 1874 to 1907. The three ledgers include such information as employee name, age, marital status, date and place of birth, date of hire, jobs worked, and salary. Also included are notes regarding resignations or discharges. Interspersed throughout the ledgers are correspondence, memos and notes relating to such things as employment reference...
Dates: 1874 - 1907

Norfolk, Showing Property and Lines of the Norfolk and Western Railroad and Proposed Belt Line

 Collection — Object 1
Identifier: Map-0149
Abstract

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.

Dates: 1890

Photographs

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1988_120_N&WCollection_Photographs

Radford, Virginia, the Junction of Pocahontas Coke and Cripple Creek Minerals

 Collection — Object 1
Identifier: Map-0250
Abstract

Map shows city blocks in Radford, Virginia, including a distance chart, travel and freight statistics, and a larger, contextual map.

Dates: ca. 1888