history of the Norfolk & Western Railway had its
beginning in the 1830’s when the state of Illinois
planned a railroad Indiana line near Danville, Illinois.
Its first name was Northern Cross. When it reached Naples,
Illinois the name changed to the Great Western Railroad
men and other lines were added and connected to this
system. When Ohio joined the name changed to the Toledo
and Illinois Railroad company (1852). Another company in
the same area was called The Lake Erie, Wabash & St.
Louis Railroad Company (1852). In 1856 these two
consolidated and became known as the Toledo, Wabash &
Western Railroad company.
1870 the Hannibal & Naples Railroad Company was
completed and operated by The Toledo, Wabash & Western
August, 1871 the Hannibal and Central Missouri Railroad
was completed between Hannibal and Moberly, Mo. through
Monroe City, Mo. This line was leased to The Toledo,
Wabash and Western Railway Company. The following is
quoted from The Railroad Gazette of September 2, 1871:
and Central Missouri Railroad Company.
road, which was been for sometime in progress from
Hannibal westward, seventy miles, to Moberly, Missouri, on
the North Missouri Road Company was completed on the 21st
of August, the road forms an important western connection
for the Toledo, Wabash & Western Road, being on nearly
and exact air line between Toledo and Kansas City and
making the distance between these places, via The North
Missouri, 660 miles - 42 miles shorter than the present
route via The Hannibal & St. Joseph Road.”
Hannibal & Central Missouri Railroad was conveyed to
the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company in
June, 1873. Traffic of The Toledo, Wabash & Western
Railway was then interchanged with and bandied by the M.
K. & T. Railroad until November, 1897 when the Wabash
Railroad was given joint use of the line between Moberly
and Hannibal. In August, 1923, the Wabash was given
exclusive use of the line and it was purchased by the
Wabash Railroad in 1944 and opened and operated by the
Wabash. Passenger service was discontinued many years ago.
Missouri the Norfolk & Western Railway, formerly the
Wabash Railroad had its origin when on March 3,1851 the
North Missouri Railroad was chartered to build a line of
railroad from St. Charles, Mo. to the Missouri-Iowa state
line. Later the charter was amended to extend the line
from St. Louis.
October 25, 18779, the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific
Railway Company was incorporated and the several segments
east and west of the Mississippi River were consolidated
into one great railroad system. On August 1, 1889 the name
was changed to the Wabash Railroad Company.
World War II and 1963 the Wabash Railroad has been
improved in every area from signal devices to diesel
engines to better passenger train equipment where it
1963 the Wabash Railroad Company merged with the Norfolk
& Western Railway Company. After the merger the
railroad retained the name Norfolk & Western Railway
Company. Since 1963 much track work has been done to
improve the railroad line.