• What If the Norfolk & Western Hadn't Merged?

  • Discussion related to the Norfolk & Western, up to 1982. Also includes discussion of the Virginian Railway (1959); Wabash; Nickel Plate; Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway; Akron, Canton & Youngstown Raiload (all 1964); and the Illinois Terminal (1981).
Discussion related to the Norfolk & Western, up to 1982. Also includes discussion of the Virginian Railway (1959); Wabash; Nickel Plate; Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway; Akron, Canton & Youngstown Raiload (all 1964); and the Illinois Terminal (1981).
  by ThePointyHairedBoss
 
This is just an Idea I had. What if the CSX merger had been called off, so therefore the N&W and Southern would have never tried to merge? What would the N&W be like today? Would they have broken up Conrail with Chessie? What sort of motive power would they have?(I'm guessing standard cabbed SD70's, and SD70M-2's) Just what would they have been like?

P.S. None of the other Mega-Mergers happened too

  by uhaul
 
All I can say is that narrowed nosed SD70M-2s would not exist since they can not meet the latest impact requirements.

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Before we take part in your personal fantasy, why don't YOU tell us what you think N&W would be like today?
  by lvrr325
 
Didn't NS and Southern join in 1982, and CSX begin to consolidate the Seaboard System and Chessie System into one road 1984 or 1985?
  by dinwitty
 
ThePointyHairedBoss wrote:This is just an Idea I had. What if the CSX merger had been called off, so therefore the N&W and Southern would have never tried to merge? What would the N&W be like today? Would they have broken up Conrail with Chessie? What sort of motive power would they have?(I'm guessing standard cabbed SD70's, and SD70M-2's) Just what would they have been like?

P.S. None of the other Mega-Mergers happened too
They might have merged with the Santa Fe and create the first true one company transcontinental railroad.
  by mmi16
 
lvrr325 wrote:Didn't NS and Southern join in 1982, and CSX begin to consolidate the Seaboard System and Chessie System into one road 1984 or 1985?
The Official merger date between the Seaboard Coast Line and Chessie System was Nov. 1 1980. From M day until the mid-80's they continued to operate as separate systems with some minor coordination projects. Beginning in 1985 plans were undertaken to fully merge the property into a single operating entity - CSXT.
  by west point
 
This is the closest topic I could find. ''

Why does fallen flags not have a SOU RR topic ?? N&W and NS topics do not reach that RR!
  by s4ny
 
In the ICC 1923 plan, the C&O, Erie, DL&W, Nickel Plate and other lesser lines were to be combined.

The N&W was to be combined with Wabash, Seaboard, and others.

Reading was to be part of the B&O group along with the BR&P and B&S both of which the B&O later acquired. The Reading and BR&P would have allowed the B&O to greatly shorten the distance between NY and Chicago by building a fairly short connection in central PA. It was never built.

These were good plans.

Later, in 1968, the N&W formed DERECO to acquire the Erie Lackawanna and Delaware and Hudson. N&W operated these lines but did not legally consolidate DERECO. After 4 years, N&W stepped away. EL went into Conrail and D&H became part of CP.

N&W had good managers and good lawyers.
  by AllenHazen
 
RE: "in 1968, the N&W formed DERECO to acquire the Erie Lackawanna and Delaware and Hudson."
There's a complex story here, and I don't remember even all the details I once knew. The Penn Central merger took place in 1968 (I think: PC absorbed the New Haven at the beginning of 1969, but I think PRR and NYC had merged a few months earlier), so Norfolk & Western taking over EL and D&H (I think the plan might have included B&M as well, but for some reason that part didn't happen) was SOMEHOW related. N&W would probably have liked to have some non-PC connection to the Northeast, and the regulators (ICC?) would have wanted to strengthen competition: I don't know how important, relatively, these two motives were. EL and D&H were both financially weak: I think N&W established DERECO to keep them at arm's length, so that if they went bankrupt they wouldn't drag N&W down with them.

As for 1964... Wabash had been related (stock ownership) to PRR, and PRR gave trackage to N&W to connect the "old" N&W with the Wabash. This, I think, was almost certainly an effort to make the PC merger more palatable to the ICC by establishing a strong competitor in at least the western half of PC's territory. Nickel Plate (NYCStL) had considered a merger with DL&W in the 1950s... and walked away from it because DL&W looked financially weak and NYCStL didn't want to be pulled down by it.

I think C&O had taken control of B&O in the 1950s: probably N&W was happy to expand into the midwest by merging Wabash and NYCStL so has to be able to compete with the expanded C&O.
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In the end, PC got divided between NS and CSX. (O.k., Conrail got divided, but Conrail was basically PC plus odds and ends...). Could this have happened earlier? As an alternative to Conrail, split PC and give half to N&W and half to Chessie? Only if the Staggers de-regulation had happened earlier: neither N&W (cf. motives for Dereco) nor Chessie (cf. Chessie's refusal to take over EL when Conrail was established) wanted anything to do with the Northeast under the conditions afflicting the railroad industry in the 1970s.

All of which is irrelevant to Pointy-Hair's speculation! It just raises similar questions about earlier mergers.
  by Engineer Spike
 
This is a complex situation. Even before Penn Central and the N&W expansion, N&W was controlled by PRR. There was a discussion about those roads merging. The topic of NYC and ChessIe System merging was also floated. In this case C&O was a wealthy company. NYC was sick, due to its passenger burden, and especially its vast commuter obligations in Boston and New York. NYC was loosing traffic due to the factory closures in the rust belt. C&O didn't want to take on the burden.

N&W did in fact take over D&H and EL. This was done because of the impending PC merger. EL did not have nearly the market penetration of the northeast that PC did. In hindsight this may have been a good thing because it was more of a basic core between New York and Chicago. D&H had lost much of its online coal traffic. One of its strong suits was as a bridge route between PRR, LV, O&W, Erie, and Lackawanna in the south, and Boston and Maine, CN, and CP in the north. Much of the PRR traffic was destined to be eliminated when PRR merged with NYC, since NYC itself had direct connections to the Canadian roads, as well as Boston and Maine and its New England traffic funneled from primarily MEC and BAR. This lead EL and D&H to seek inclusion in a large system in response to Penn Central.

N&W bought the two railroads. EL did compete with the western end of the N&W's Nickel Plate and Wabash to an extent. Both EL and D&H were primarily focused in the east. N&W was nervous about the eastern railroad financial problems., and didn't want to get dragged in. Through DERECO N&W controlled EL and D&H indirectly. Through DERECO N&W was able to still benefit from the losses of EL and D&H on the combined taxes. They also did run som joint trains to the east coast. Some senior guys from when I hired out on D&H said that N&W cleaned out some of our good equipment.
As said, EL went bankrupt, and was saved by joining Conrail. D&H was N&W, and later NS controlled until Guilford bought it in 1984.

I have a few friends who like to talk about the merger movement of the 1960s-90s. Sometimes topics range from the proposed mergers, and what could have been done better in the ones which did happen. I sometimes wonder if the supposed economies of scale of large merged carriers give the customers the choices which they once had. This comes to mind more in light of the present railroad meltdown. N&W had no choice to merge in light of the other mergers which happened around it. Sometimes I think about the Billy Joel song We Didn't Start the Fire. It's about all the newsworthy events which happened in his lifetime, most tragic, which will keep on happening. In doing family research I found out about a relative who was an attorney in Connecticut. He helped found and did the legal charter work for Connecticut Western. This company was merged with its neighbors, and eventually the New Haven, Penn Central, Conrail, NS and CSX. The industry is a chess match on who is going to control what, and what the competition might do next.