Norfolk Southern has honored its predecessor railroads during 2012, its 30th anniversary year, by painting 20 new locomotives in commemorative schemes that reflect the heritage of those predecessors.
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 (SR) and Norfolk and Western Railway (NW) in 1982. In 1999, Norfolk Southern expanded the scope of its heritage with its acquisition of a portion of Conrail (CR). The heritage locomotives represent most of the 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 the GE ES44AC locomotives, while the EMD SD70ACe units were painted at the Progress Rail Services’ facility in Muncie, Ind. The heritage locomotives are now hauling freight across all of Norfolk Southern’s 20,000-mile, 22-state network.