Thumbnail profiles and heralds of North America's most well-known historic railroads
Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railway
Akron, Canton & Youngstown incorporated in 1907, completed its line in 1913. Purchased by N&W at time of Nickel Plate merger in October 1964. Dissolved by N&W successor Norfolk Southern Corp. on January 1, 1982. Trackage included in May 17, 1990, sale to new regional Wheeling & Lake Erie.
Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railroad
Carrollton Short Line Railway chartered in 1897. Name changed to Alabama, Tennessee & Northern in 1906. AT&N purchased by St. Louis-San Francisco on December 28, 1948, and merged into SLSF on January 1, 1971.
Algoma Central Railway
Algoma Central was chartered in 1899 to build north from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The optimistic words "& Hudson Bay" were added to the name in 1901, and removed in 1965. In 1990 the 322-mile ACR became a subsidiary of Algoma Central Corp., which has shipping, trucking, real estate, and forest interests. ACR was purchased by Wisconsin Central Ltd. on February 1, 1995, and operated as a separate subsidiary until WC's purchase by Canadian National on October 9, 2001.
Alton & Sangamon chartered in 1847, renamed St. Louis, Alton & Chicago in 1850's. Chicago & Alton organized in 1861 to buy StLA&C. C&A controlled by Union Pacific and Rock Island 1904-07, then Clover Leaf 1907-1912. C&A entered receivership and was bought by Baltimore & Ohio in 1929, renamed Alton Railroad in 1931, restored to independence March 10, 1943, and acquired by Gulf, Mobile & Ohio May 31, 1947.
Ann Arbor Railroad
Ann Arbor's first ancestor dated from 1869. AA incorporated in 1895, and was controlled by Detroit, Toledo & Ironton 1905-1910, by Wabash 1925-1963, and by DT&I again 1963-1976. State of Michigan bought AA from DT&I, and designated Michigan Interstate as operator October 1, 1977. Operation split in 1983 among MI on south end, Tuscola & Saginaw Bay in middle, and Michigan Northern on north end. T&SB took over MN in 1984. Ann Arbor Railroad, established October 7, 1988, runs Toledo-Ann Arbor.
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Chartered in 1859 as the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. created on September 22, 1995, when BN bought AT&SF's corporate Parent. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway merged into Burlington Northern Railroad on December 31, 1996, and BN renamed Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway.
Atlanta & West Point Rail Road; Western Railway of Alabama
Atlanta & La Grange chartered in 1847 and opened in 1854, renamed Atlanta & West Point in 1857. Montgomery Rail Road organized in 1854, and its successors taken over by Western Rail Road of Alabama in 1870. Georgia Railroad in 1875 acquired stock in A&WP and jointly purchased, with Central of Georgia, the WofA, which in 1883 was reorganized as Western Railway of Alabama. A&WP and WofA operated together as the "West Point Route," and were closely affiliated with the Georgia Railroad. The two WPR corporate shells did survive, for a time, the 1983 Seaboard System amalgamation of operations.
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Oldest ancestor, Petersburg Railroad, opened in 1833; it and Richmond & Petersburg merged in March 1898 and in November 1898 took the name Atlantic Coast Line. Merger with paralleling Seaboard Air Line Railroad, proposed in 1958, took place on July 1, 1967, creating Seaboard Coast Line.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Baltimore & Ohio was chartered on February 28, 1827, and opened on May 24, 1830, as the first common-carrier railroad in the U.S., and was the first to offer scheduled passenger and freight service to the public. Chesapeake & Ohio acquired control in May 1962. On April 30, 1987, B&O, at age 160 the nation's oldest railroad, ceased to exist as it was merged into Chesapeake & Ohio, by then a subsidiary of CSX Transportation.
Boston & Maine Railroad
Boston & Maine's oldest component was the Andover & Wilmington, opened in August 1836. By 1843 it and two other railroads consolidated as the Boston & Maine, which through numerous consolidations amassed a 2000-mile network blanketing Massachusetts and reaching not only Portland, Maine, but northern New Hampshire and Vermont and eastern New York State. After a dozen deficit-ridden years, B&M went bankrupt in March 1970. Rather than go into Conrail, B&M stayed independent and revived, and was bought by Guilford Transportation Industries in 1983.
Burlington Northern Railroad
Created March 1, 1970 by merger of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Great Northern; Northern Pacific; and Spokane, Portland & Seattle. Became an operating subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., on September 22, 1995, when BN bought Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's parent corporation. BN and ATSF railroads merged on December 31, 1996 as Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway.
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. created on September 22, 1995, when BN bought AT&SF's corporate Parent. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway merged into Burlington Northern Railroad on December 31, 1996, and BN renamed Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway.