As part of its 30th anniversary celebration in 2012, NS painted 20 new locomotives in the color schemes of predecessor railroads. The commemorative units quickly became known as NS' Heritage Locomotives.
Since the 1820s, hundreds of railroad companies were built, merged, reorganized, and consolidated into what eventually became Norfolk Southern, itself created from the consolidation of Southern Railway and Norfolk and Western Railway in 1982. In 1999, Norfolk Southern acquired a portion of Conrail. The Heritage Locomotives represent railroads that played significant roles in Norfolk Southern’s history. The first unit, Conrail 8098, rolled out of Altoona, Pa., March 15, and the final one, Lackawanna 1074, rolled out of Muncie, Ind., on June 27.
Each paint scheme was modified to fit contemporary locomotives while staying as true as possible to the original designs. Norfolk Southern employees in Altoona and Chattanooga, Tenn., painted GE ES44AC locomotives, while the EMD SD70ACe units were painted at Progress Rail Services’ facility in Muncie, Ind. The Heritage Locomotives are used in freight service across Norfolk Southern’s 19,500-mile, 22-state network.