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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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CSX Corporation

by George A. Kennedy, 2006

Blue and yellow CSX engine outside of a train station. The CSX corporation was formed in 1980 from the merger of the Chessie System railway and the Seaboard Coast Line railroad. Many of the company's North Carolina lines can be traced to the 1967 merger of the Atlantic Coast Line railroad and the Seaboard Air Line railway, which were subsequently absorbed by CSX; the Clinchfield railroad was added in January 1983. CSX lines incorporated many previously important North Carolina lines, including the Virginia & Carolina railroad; Seaboard & Roanoke railroad; Raleigh & Gaston railroad; High Point, Thomasville, and Denton railroad; and Durham & Southern railroad.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, CSX, by the early 2000s, operated the largest rail network in the eastern United States. A vast system of subsidiaries reaching Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo. In all, its routes covered 23,000 miles in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and parts of Canada. CSX operated 1,142 miles, or 34 percent, of North Carolina's railway system, with 1,400 employees in the state.

Operations were concentrated of three major interstate routes and two local routes. One north-south CSX main line connected the Northeast and Florida via Rocky Mount, Wilson, Fayetteville, and Pembroke. An east-west main line linked Wilmington and Charlotte with Atlanta and New Orleans. A second north-south main line (previously the Clinchfield) connected Detroit to Atlanta via Marion. A CSX local route also ran from Rocky Mount eastward, serving Greenville and Plymouth; another operated as a local service route between Norlina and Hamlet by way of Raleigh.

CSX's major North Carolina facilities included freight classification yards at Hamlet, Rocky Mount, Charlotte, and Wilmington; locomotive servicing at Hamlet and Rocky Mount; an intermodal terminal at Charlotte; and bulk-intermodal terminals at Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Apex, and Wilmington. The railroad maintained an industrial development office in Charlotte.

Additional Resources:

"Company Overview."CSX Corporation. 2016.  Accessed Oct. 17, 2023.

Watkins, Hays T. Just Call Me Hays: Recollections on 42 Years Railroading. Jacksonville, F.L.: R.E.B. Communications, 2001.

Solomon, Brian. CSX: Railroad Heritage, 1827-2004. Minneapolis, M.N.: Voyageur Press, 2005. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.

Goldberg, Susan Galloway. CSX and the Railway Unions: in Search of New Solutions.  [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor-Management Relations and Cooperative Programs, 1990.

Image Credits:

Pardue, Donald Lee. "Locomotive and Railroad Depot." Union Station, Aberdeen, N.C. December 2, 2010. Image from flickr. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.