In the late 1860s, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) pushed its first tracks westward from Virginia's Tidewater region across the mountains into what was then the new state of West Virginia. Ultimately its tracks stretched across a half-dozen states and even into Canada. Appalachian coal was the C&O's primary cargo, but its fast freight carried shipments of all kinds, and its crack passenger trains were marvels of their day. In 1963, the C&O merged with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the first of what would become a wave of railroad mergers. Today, the old C&O is part of giant CSX Transportation.
Images of Rail: The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway gathers 200 photographs that chronicle the C&O story. Here is a fond look back at its mammoth steam locomotives and the diesels that replaced them, its bustling passenger stations, and much more, including the legendary John Henry, who beat the steam drill, and Chessie, the sleeping kitten that was the C&O's much-loved trademark.
About the Author:
Retired newspaper editor James E. Casto has had a lifelong interest in the C&O. Performing as Collis P. Huntington, who built the C&O from a few miles of track into a busy railroad, Casto has brought the famed rail tycoon to life for countless schools, civic clubs, church groups, and other audiences.