JeffPo's Norfolk & Western Railway Lantern
Last update: 05/23/10
This Adlake lantern was used by the Norfolk & Western Railway.
The lid is embossed with N&W.
The globe is cast with N&W. The clear color means it was used for
Norfolk & Western Railway
Streamlined N&W steam engine pulling a passenger consist. Norfolk, VA,
1957. Photo by H. Reid
The Norfolk & Western Railway can trace its roots back
to 1836, when the City Point Railroad was chartered by Virginia State
Legislature. Through mergers and
acquisitions, this nine mile short line would eventually become the mighty
N&W Railway. The railroad as a
company came into being in 1881 when the
, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad was sold under foreclosure and renamed to the
Norfolk & Western Railroad. The
N&W changed its name to Norfolk & Western Railway in 1896 after it was
sold under foreclosure and reorganized. Although
the N&W primarily hauled agriculture products when it first formed, it soon
became a great hauler of coal. Hauling
coal is what gave the N&W its wealth and prosperity.
The company was also famous for manufacturing its own steam locomotives
in-house at its shops in
Given that the N&W primarily
hauled coal, and was building its own locomotives, this meant that it would be
the last major railroad to convert from steam to diesel power around 1960.
This was shortly after it acquired the Virginian Railway, which had been
one of its large competitors. The
N&W also operated successful passenger lines.
Throughout its history, the N&W acquired and absorbed other well know
railroads, such as the
Nickel Plate Road
railroad. The final merger came in
1982 when the Norfolk & Western Railway combined with the Southern Railway
to form the Norfolk Southern Corporation. The
Southern is still a large, strong railroad throughout the eastern half of the
. Many times you can see a
Southern train hauling hopper cars with N&W on them.
Class S 0-8-0 steam engine in Norfolk, VA. Late 1950s.
Restored class J 4-8-4 streamlined N&W steam engine #611
in Roanoke, VA on April 22, 2017. Photo by author, Jeff Polston.
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