Norfolk & Western Railroad
The N&W was formed in 1881. In 1982 it combined with the Southern Railway to form the Norfolk Southern Railroad, which still rolls through Ironton along the river bank.
Its motto was "Precision Transportation"; it had a variety of nicknames, including "King Coal" and "British Railway of America".
The N&W was famous for manufacturing its own steam locomotives, which were built at the Roanoke Shops, as well as its own hopper cars. After 1960, N&W was the last major Class I railroad using steam locomotives; the last remaining Y class 2-8-8-2s would eventually be retired between 1964 and 1965.