Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Window Into The Real Norfolk Southern

The original Norfolk Southern Railway Co. operated in Virginia and North Carolina between 1981 and 1974 when the Southern Ry bought it but kept the name.  The Southern  merged with the Norfolk & Western to form the current Norfolk Southern Ry.  It's identity is gone but some pieces of the original Norfolk Southern operate as short-line railroads operated udifferent names and separate from the Norfolk Southern.

The map below shows the original Norfolk Southern in its maximum extent prior to 1974.
My window into the Norfolk Southern was 1968, 69, and 70 when I lived in southeastern Virginia.  I knew little about the railroad but it would once in awhile show up as I was scouting for trains in various cities.  Locomotivess 1 through 17 were GP18s.  Number 6 below kindly waited on May 24, 1970 in Plymouth, NC for me to show up and take its picture.

Geeps 8, 3, 2001, and 13 are about to pull in Charlotte, NC on October 27, 1968.  2001 is a GP38.  The following pictures show the other units on the train.  Also note the NS boxcar #1311 to the right in the first shot.

I was surprised to learn that the Southern rebuilt the NS geep with a high short hood and long nose forward.  Was there some sort of union agreement?

Here are two pictures of #11 working in Norfolk in May of 1969.

I volunteered at the North Carolina Transportation Museum last winter and guess what was there?  NS 1616, a non-operable Baldwin AS416.  I had taken NS 1617 in Chesapeake, VA in May of 1969.  And yes I duplicated the picture as nearly as possible.

During the summer of 1963 I worked for the CB&Q filling in for vacationing agents, operators, and levermen.   As the agent at Leland, IL for a couple of weeks, I found NS 28226 on the team track.  I no doubt handled the waybills for the car.  I doubt I knew anything about that NS.  Didn't know I'd be photographing it by the end of the decade and 50 years later photographing its metamorph.

I hope you enjoyed this peek through the window my camera made.

As you might expect the original NS has a historical society.  Their website is here:

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