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Company History: The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (reporting marks C&O, CO) was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from several smaller Virginia railroads begun in the 19th century. Led by industrialist Collis P. Huntington, it reached from Virginia's capital city of Richmond to the Ohio River by 1873, where the railroad town (and later city) of Huntington, West Virginia was named for him.
Tapping the coal reserves of West Virginia, the C&O's Peninsula Extension to new coal piers on the harbor of Hampton Roads resulted in the creation of the new City of Newport News. Coal revenues also led the forging of a rail link to the Midwest, eventually reaching Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo in Ohio and Chicago, Illinois.
By the early 1960s the C&O was headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In 1972, under the leadership of Cyrus Eaton, it became part of the Chessie System, along with the Baltimore and Ohio and Western Maryland Railway. The Chessie System was later combined with the Seaboard Coast Line and Louisville and Nashville, both the primary components of the Family Lines System, to become a key portion of CSX Transportation (CSXT) in the 1980s. A substantial portion of Conrail was added in 1999.
C&O's passenger services ended in 1971 with the formation of Amtrak. Today Amtrak's tri-weekly Cardinal passenger train follows the historic and scenic route of the C&O through the New River Gorge in one of the more rugged sections of the Mountain State. The rails of the former C&O also continue to transport intermodal and freight traffic, as well as West Virginia bituminous coal east to Hampton Roads and west to the Great Lakes as part of CSXT, a Fortune 500 company which was one of seven Class I railroads operating in North America at the beginning of the 21st century.
At the end of 1970 C&O operated 5067 miles of road on 10219 miles of track, not including WM or B&O and its subsidiaries.
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Item created by: gdm on 2017-10-10 09:55:56. Last edited by gdm on 2017-10-11 07:30:23
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