MAN PAINTS TRAINS
The Norfolk and Western Railway began life as City Point Railroad which was chartered by Virginia State Legislature in 1836. Mississippi & Ohio Railroad sold under foreclosure in 1881 and renamed Norfolk & Western Railroad. In 1998 Norfolk & Western Railway ceased to exist and was consolidated with the Southern Railway to form Norfolk Southern Corporation.
During those many years the railroad hauled coal in amounts, at distances which would have been considered record levels by many of the lesser lines. N&W also carried passengers, but as with all other railroads, that was a break even return at best. Hauling people is the least profitable cargo for any railroad. Amtrak provides abundant evidence to that effect.
In 1984 the Norfolk and Western Society was formed to collect, catalog and display information, images and artifacts which commemorate this nobile line. They currently have 10,000 photographic images, 56,000 drawings of engines, cars, sidings and associated structures, but this is only what has been organized so far. There is considerably more material to be had.
Why are people love trains so very much? We're drawn to all things railroad related, but it's hard to say why. Certainly railroads are prominent in our American history, but exactly what is it which drives this passion. Not just grown, but quite senior men and women spend countless hours with model trains. We do not have an answer or even an educated guess.
Our pictures above were taken of murals painted on commercial walls in Columbia, South Carolina. These are excellent illustrations of the rolling stock from several famous railroads. Notice the tiny bird in the photo "BIRD PAINTS CAR". It looks like he painted the fender as he was passing over. "MAN PAINTS TRAINS" is the title of the balance of our photos.
We can't explain why we took a three hundred mile round trip up to the state capital just to snap a few photos of paintings of trains, but it was well worth the trip. We love trains and we want to see more of them.