Earlier this year, Norfolk Southern Corporation revealed that they had intention on starting a "heritage program" to celebrate their thirtieth
anniversary this year. Included in this news release were details as to what rail lines that went into Norfolk Southern predecessors Norfolk &
Western, the Southern Railway. and the lines that went into the formation of CONRAIL. Speculation arose as to which railroad from the three would come
out first. A few weeks had went by, the first heritage unit was released. In February of this year, Norfolk Southern locomotive #8098 was released
from the General Electric plant in the paint of the Consolidated Rail Corporation.
NS "CONRAIL" 8098 sets on the ready track at Alloy, West Virginia as it and its crew prepare to take a trainload of West Virginia diamonds toward
Bluefield, West Virginia.
The CONRAIL heritage wasn't the only one setting at Alloy on this warm September evening. Norfolk Southern locomotive #1065 sets next to the previous
coal train as it waits for the next train to run to the mines or back to Bluefield.
I had no idea that the next one was going to go by so this next photo happened by sheer accident while I was at one of the local train watching hot
spots back in August. Norfolk Southern locomotive #8105, INTERSTATE heritage, brings an empty coal train into West Virginia as it goes back toward the
mines of southern West Virginia. The INTERSTATE Railroad was purchased by the Southern Railway in 1965. This scheme was prevalent on their fleet of
ALCo RS3 road switchers.
As part of the heritage program, Norfolk Southern announced that they were going to be running system wide "Employee Appreciation Excursions" on
weekends that were to be announced on a later date. These excursions were to be ran using steam locomotives from both the Southern Railway and the
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. When the dates for the Norfolk Southern division trips were confirmed and what steam locomotives were
announced. The news spread like a raging wildfire around the railfan community. Especially among people from here in West Virginia and across the
On August 4th, the first two of four weekend trips on the Pocahontas Division took place. Nickel Plate Road #765 had the privilege of running that
weekends excursions on four ninety mile round trips to and from Williamson, West Virginia. I had the fortune of being able to cover the events on that
Saturday. NKP 765 "splitting" the Color Position Lights at Chattaroy, West Virginia on its first westbound trip out of Williamson.
Now the N.K.P. 765 and NS 8100 weren't the only two in the area at that time. Norfolk Southern #8104, Lehigh Valley heritage, was setting in
Williamson Yard as the second unit on a coal train. The Lehigh Valley railroad was one of several railroad in the northeastern United States that went
into the formation of the Consolidated rail Corporation.
What would turn out to become the Virginian Railway, the Deepwater Railway was the brainchild of civil engineer William Nelson Page and one of the
principal's of Standard Oil and one of the richest men in the world at the time, Henry Huttleston Rogers. With the completion of the Tidewater
Railway in Virginia in 1909. The Virginian Railway was formed and became one of the most profitable railroads in United States history. It was so
influential in our history that the community of Page in Fayette County was named after William Nelson Page. The Virginian Railway merged with the
Norfolk & Western Railway in 1959.
The previous day I had been notified that the Virginian Railway heritage unit was setting in the yard across the river from where I live. I had been
waiting to document this particular locomotive in the area due to this state's history with the Virginian Railway. Norfolk Southern locomotive #1069,
Virginian Railway heritage, is seen at Dickinson Yard just south of Belle, West Virginia.
The same day that I had gotten the Virginian heritage at Dickinson Yard. I had also heard what was then a rumor that the Pennsylvania Railroad
heritage locomotive was setting at Alloy, West Virginia ready to take a coal train south to Bluefield, West Virginia.
One of the first heritage units that I caught was Norfolk Southern's "Illinois Terminal" heritage unit. When I discovered where it was and what it
was doing. It came as a shock to me since I did not know that it was in the area. The actual Illinois Terminal Railway Company started back in 1937
after being reorganized by the Depression afflicted Illinois Traction System. The Illinois Terminal Railroad was split up among the railroads that
connected with it in 1982.
Here is Norfolk Southern locomotive #1072 as it works a load out just south of the yard and as it crosses the Kanawha River at Deep Water, WV on the
I did not have to wait long, only two days, to catch my next heritage unit. Here we have Norfolk Southern locomotive #8103, N&W heritage, bringing an
empty train to Alloy, WV.
the next two and, so far, the last two heritage units to make it up this way were the Central of Georgia and the Monongahela heritage units appeared.