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Norfolk Southern’s history spans nearly two centuries to the earliest days of American railroading.
Charters South Carolina Canal and Rail Road, earliest Norfolk Southern predecessor
Places its first locomotive, Best Friend of Charleston, into service on Christmas Day
Buys pine forest for locomotive fuel supply; today it’s called Brosnan Forest
Connects East to Midwest via Horseshoe Curve, enabling conventional trains to scale the Allegheny Mountains
Produces Altoona Machine Shops’ first of 6,783 steam, electric, and diesel locomotives
Runs rail route over the Blue Ridge Mountains via Saluda Grade, steepest main-line grade in U.S.
Opens world’s longest railroad bridge, over Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana
Opens Pier 1 at Norfolk, Va., to load coal into colliers
Forms Roanoke Shops
Employs first diesel-electric locomotive, as a switcher
From century-old plans, employees build touring replica of Best Friend of Charleston
Sponsors first performance of the Norfolk Southern Lawmen, corporate musical band and good will ambassadors
Becomes first major railroad to complete fleet dieselization
Dedicates Pier 6 at Norfolk, Va., hemisphere’s premier coal transload facility and one of the largest pieces of moving equipment on the planet
Donates a steam locomotive – largest item on display in new Smithsonian Museum of Science and Technology in Washington
First big railroad to conduct computerized operations
Inaugurates the “Exhibit Car,” a rolling display about rail people and technology
Opens first “railroad university” technical training center, at McDonough, Ga., to qualify members of railroad crafts in shorter periods than traditional apprenticeships
Forms Norfolk Southern through consolidation of Norfolk and Western and Southern railways
Robert B. Claytor named first NS chairman
Begins replacing cabooses with telemetry devices
Arnold B. McKinnon named second NS chairman
First to transport a million intermodal trailers and containers in a year
Cuts ribbon on new 21-story headquarters in Norfolk, Va.
Presented first Harriman gold medal award for employee safety, for 1989; company goes on to win 23 consecutive gold awards
David R. Goode named third NS chairman
NS income from rail operations exceeds $1 billion.
Thoroughbred Volunteers in Atlanta help stage the games of the 26th Olympiad.
Absorbs much of Conrail, increasing NS’ size by half and returning competitive rail service to the Northeast for the first time since the ‘70s
Observes 175th anniversary -- David Goode rings opening bell at New York Stock Exchange
Charles W. “Wick” Moorman named fourth NS chairman
Launches “Train Your Brain” public information program to promote grade-crossing safety
Opens Heartland Corridor, breaking new ground in national transportation policy while clearing the mid-Atlantic to Midwest rail route for efficient double-stack trains
30th anniversary of the modern Norfolk Southern
James A. Squires
named fifth NS chairman
Fully operational Crescent Corridor should be benefiting public by removing 1.3 million long-haul trucks from interstates and 1.9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
50th anniversary of NS