Today’s photo is of a Norfolk and Western Railway caboose that is sitting in a hay field south of Loudon, TN.
The Norfolk & Western Railway was a unique operation of modest proportions that achieved recognition beyond contemporary railroads of similar size. In actuality, Norfolk & Western had two differing styles. Before 1964, it was a coal hauler known for its excellent financial performance, and which operated arguably the finest fleet of steam motive power at the head of long coal trains. The routine tonnage carried on these trains would be considered records elsewhere. Changes began first with dieselization and then merger with Virginian Railway in the late 1950’s. In 1964 Norfolk & Western leased, merged with, or purchased several other railroads to expand its operation becoming a major midwestern carrier. As such it operated routes from Norfolk VA and Buffalo NY to Chicago IL and St. Louis and Kansas City MO. On June 1, 1982 the Norfolk & Western, along with the Southern Railway, became subsidiaries of Norfolk Southern Corporation, a newly formed holding company. Finally on September 1, 1998 Norfolk & Western’s corporate existence ended as it was merged into Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Source: The Norfolk and Western Historical Society