Southern 6900 NS 8099 (Southern) Spencer, NC Transportation Museum
SOU. The 1827 formation of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company is credited as the oldest predecessor line of the Southern Railway, which took that name in 1894. While tobacco and cotton were early traffic on the railroad, diversification brought in other industrial products. In 1982, it would join with the Norfolk & Western Railway to form Norfolk Southern Corp as a holding company. For the 30th Anniversary, an event was held at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina with its 20 newly painted "heritage units”. On the night of July 3, 2012, Southern 6900 (E8A) and Norfolk Southern 8099 (Southern Heritage, ES44AC) were placed on adjoining tracks with lighting provided by the museum for photographers to capture memories.
Yes, it has been 10 years. On July 3, 2012, along with thousands of others over the next few days, I made my first visit to the N.C. Transportation Museum for a once in a lifetime event. Norfolk Southern Corp worked with the museum to bring its 20 newly painted "heritage units" to Spencer, North Carolina and put on a memorable event for the public in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Norfolk & Western and Southern Railways joining to become NS. The name was taken from the the former Norfolk Southern Railway, which was acquired by Southern in 1974. Ironically, while Southern was the first major railroad to fully dieselize their roster in 1953, N&W was the last to depart from steam in 1965. N&W would join Amtrak upon its inception in 1971, the Southern not until 1979. But whatever their previous differences, the formation of the CSX Corporation was a sign of consolidation to come and the partnership was formed.
What is now the N.C. Transportation Museum was once a shop of the Southern Railway. The scheduled events began with a night shoot, with various units being moved around the museum and later back to the turntable.