The Norfolk and Western Railway was formed by more than 200 railroad mergers between 1838 and 1982. It was headquartered in Roanoke,
Virginia for most of its 150-year existence.
The N&W was famous for manufacturing steam locomotives in-house at the Roanoke Shops as well as their own hopper cars. Around 1960, the N&W was the last major American railroad to convert from steam to diesel motive power. Norfolk and Western Railway's J class steam locomotives were a class of 4-8-4 locomotives built by the Norfolk and Western Railway's East End Shops in Roanoke, Virginia between 1941 and 1950. The first batch, numbered 600 to 604, were built in 1941–42. In 1943, 605–610 were delivered. In 1950, the last batch, 611–613, were built.
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