• 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

  • Fully operational Crescent Corridor should be benefitting 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