Like many railroads, the lines of the Wabash Railway Company predated the company's formation in 1877. The history of the Wabash is long and complicated, involving certain dubious personalities, mergers, receiverships, and a wavering bottom line. In 1920, Decatur, Illinois became the hub of the Wabash's activities. In 1931, the Wabash became the first American railroad to go into receivership due to the Depression. In 1941, it was controlled by Pennsylvania interests. Although solvent, the Wabash was plagued by intense competition and a precarious profit margin. Thus, the Wabash welcomed N&W's leasing of the company in 1964. Shown here is Wabash Engine No. 2515 at the Wabash yard in Decatur, Illinois.
Images of Rail: Norfolk and Western Railway by Nelson Harris
2 October 1938
Nelson Harris; Virginia Museum of Transportation
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unknown, “HNWR045,” Virginia Room Digital Collection, accessed April 2, 2020, http://www.virginiaroom.org/digital/document/HNWR045.