hawkinsrails.net / mainlines / ns

Norfolk Southern

What would eventually become the first Norfolk Southern Railroad was chartered on January 20th, 1870 in North Carolina as the Elizabeth City and Norfolk Railroad. It was intended to run between its namesake cities, a distance of 46 miles. Construction did not begin until 1880. The track was completed on May 12th, 1881, and the first train from Norfolk to Elizabeth City ran on May 26th, 1881. The line was extended 27 miles southward to Edenton, NC in December 1881. The first train to Edenton ran on December 13th of that year.

Robert C. Reisweber, 2005

The Norfolk Southern Railway that existed until a Southern Railway merger in 1974 was the final form of a 600 mile railroad that survived several reorganizations and carried different names throughout its interesting history. The mainline extended south and west from Norfolk, Virginia, across the state line toward Raleigh, North Carolina, then southwest to its western terminus in Charlotte. Included in the mainline was an impressive 5 mile trestle across Albermarle Sound in eastern North Carolina and numerous built and leased branches. On January 1, 1974, the Norfolk Southern was merged into the Southern Railway System, which retired the Norfolk road's small fleet of Baldwin road switchers and merged its EMD power into the Southern corporate roster.

Norfolk Southern system map / 1965

Links / Sources