“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Downtown Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Norfolk and Western Railway

The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk

Norfolk and Western Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
1. Norfolk and Western Railway Marker
Inscription.  Today’s Norfolk Southern has a colorful predecessor in both or Roanoke’s railroads. To keep this as simple as possible, we are discussing only the N&W history to its merger with the Southern Railway in 1982. Space prevents mentioning every merger or absorbed railroad here, but, the major lines that formed the main line of the N&W are covered here.

N&W began with the 9-mile City Point Railroad built 1837-1838 from Petersburg to City Point, Virginia on the James River. IN 1854, City Point merged with South Side Railroad (1854) connecting with the Virginia and Tennessee at Lynchburg. The V&T was being built to Bristol arriving in what would become Roanoke on November 1, 1852.

After the war of 1861-1865, Confederate General William Mahone, builder of Norfolk and Petersburg (1850s), gained control of SS and V&T merging them in 1870, as the Atlantic Mississippi and Ohio, running from Norfolk to Bristol. The AM&O was sold at foreclosure in 1881 becoming the Norfolk and Western Railroad. The road expanded to the West Virginia coalfields in 1882 creating a vast flow of traffic that continues today.

The Shenandoah Valley
Norfolk and Western Railway Marker </b>(fifth of five adjacent markers) image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
2. Norfolk and Western Railway Marker (fifth of five adjacent markers)
was merged into the N&W in 1890 and the road expanded to the Ohio River a year later. IN 1892, Roanoke and Southern was added expanding the road to Winston-Salem, NC. The Lynchburg and Durham was added in 1893, Shenandoah Valley, and Cincinnati Portsmouth and Virginia in Ohio to form the basis of the road headquartered in Roanoke. IN the first modern era merger, N&W absorbed the Virginian in 1959, Nickel Plate and Wabash in 1964. The N&W itself vanished merging with Southern in 1982 forming today’s Norfolk Southern, one of America’s finest Corporations.
Erected 2007.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 37° 16.387′ N, 79° 56.339′ W. Marker was in Downtown Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker was at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue SE and Market Street SE, on the right when traveling west on Norfolk Avenue SE. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Roanoke VA 24011, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Roanoke Shops (a few steps from this marker); Today's Rail Traffic (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk and Western Passenger Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Market Square Walkway
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Roanoke (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Hotel Roanoke (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); North Jefferson Street (about 500 feet away); Norfolk & Western General Office Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown Roanoke.
More about this marker. All pictures are Norfolk and Western Railway photos provided for the marker from the collection of Kenneth L. Miller. Their captions follow:

[top right photo]: Artifacts of the early days are not easy to find. A Virginia and Tennessee timetable from 1855 gives an insight in the operations of the day. One passenger rode on a first-class ticket over the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio from Salem to Big Lick about 1878.

[immediately below the top right photo]: These unusual, decorative depots were constructed in the 1870s and 80s. This one stood in nearby Vinton into the 1970s.

[immediately below and to the left of the top right photo]: Virginia and Tennessee locomotive “Roanoke” probably not long after its construction in 1854. In the early days, locomotives were generally named, rather than numbered.

[The bottom of the marker is a route map and merger history of the Norfolk and Western]
Credits. This page was last revised on February 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,382 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on February 14, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on January 16, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2. submitted on January 15, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 7, 2021