The Family Tree of North American Railroads

Christopher Coleman
4th January 1997

This is a compiled chart of major North American railroad mergers, takeovers, and controls. Most date after 1900 but there are some exceptions. Railroad names represent the railroad-handling part of a corporate entity, if different from the corporate name. I am limiting the chart to Class 1, former Class 1, or major Regional lines. This chart represents only the "top" of the theoretical chart. Many roads had predecessors too numerous to include here.

This article is hereby copyrighted 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 by Christopher D Coleman. I grant permission for its copying and distribution anywhere in either electronic or hardcopy format, providing it is not altered, changed or edited in any way other than format (html to text) and no payment is extracted solely for its use. All other types of reproduction in part or in whole are not permitted without my express permission.

The most current copy of this tree can be found at

[] = parent corporate entity
{} = holding company which preserved the "feel" of its predecessor roads
() = common name of railroad
:: = previous owner
-> = name change
->( = company split up
'79   = date of legal acquisition when known
('70) = approximate date corporate identity vanished when known


most intercity US passenger operations -> National Railroad Passenger
                                             Corporation (Amtrak)
                              Southern (passenger)/'79
        Denver and Rio Grande Western (passenger)/'83
     Chicago Rock Island and Pacific (passenger)/'79

long distance Canadian Pacific 
  and Canadian National passenger operations -> VIA Rail Canada

EASTERN US---------------------------------------------------------------------

                                     Western Maryland\
            Cincinnati Hamilton & Dayton\             \'73
                                Baltimore & Ohio->Chessie System\
                               Chesapeake & Ohio/                \
                      Pere Marquette/'47                          \
                     Hocking Valley/                              |{'80}
Piedmont & Northern Railway\'69                                   >CSX
  Seaboard Air Line\'67     \                                     |Transportation
Atlantic Coast Line >Seaboard Coast Line\                         |[CSX
                             Clinchfield-\                        / Corporation]
                    Atlanta & West Point-|                       /      |
                        Georgia Railroad-| '72   Seaboard System/       |
              Western Railway of Alabama->{Family Lines}-^'83          /
     Chicago and Eastern Illinois (part)-/                            /
                Louisville and Nashville/                            /
                                  /                                 /
Chicago, Indianapolis,           /                                 /
           & Louisville -> Monon/'71                              / 
Nashville, Chattanooga,        /                                 /
                 and St. Louis/?'57                             /
                                       Pittsburgh and Lake Erie/'93
                Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac {Chessie}/'93

                              The Buffalo Creek Railroad Company\
                                 Central Indiana Railway Company-\
     Lehigh and New England Railway Company \                     |
        Mount Hope Mineral Railroad Company  >Central Railroad    |
      Wharton and Northern Railroad Company /      of New Jersey--|
                         Allentown Terminal/                      |
                  The Chicago River and Indiana Railroad Company--|
              Delaware, Lackawanna &                              |
               Western Railroad Company\'60                       |
                  Erie Railroad Company >Erie Lackawanna          |
                 CC&L/'10                  Railway Company {N&W}--|
                                                                  >Consolidated Rail
                     Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Company--|  Corporation
                     The Lehigh and Hudson River Railway Company--|  (Conrail)
                                  Lehigh Valley Railroad Company--|   |
                                Niagara Junction Railway Company--|   |
                                                                  |   |
              Baltimore and Eastern  \                            |   |
                     Railroad Company-\                           |   |
     Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago    \                          |   |
                 and St.Louis Railway--|                          |   |
            Michigan Central Railroad--|                          |   |
The New York Central Railroad Company--|                          |   |
        The New York, New Haven and    >Penn Central              |   |
            Hartford Railroad Company--|  Transportation Company--|   |
    The Pennsylvania Railroad Company--|                          |   |
             Peoria & Eastern Railway--/                          |   |
          Waynesburg and Washington   /                           |   |
                     Railroad Company/                            |   |
                                                                  /   |
                             Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines-/    /
                                                 Reading Company/    /

    Wheeling and Lake Erie\
            New York, Chicago & St. 
               Louis (Nickel Plate)\'64
            Pittsburgh & West Virginia\'64
             Akron, Canton & Youngstown\
                       Illinois Terminal\'81
              Kentucky & Indiana Terminal\1981
Norfolk and Petersburg\c.1865             \
    South Side Railroad\c.1865             \
    Virginia & Tennessee\c.1865             \
                Atlantic, Mississippi, & Ohio\c.1881
                                Norfolk & Western\
                                                  >Norfolk Southern Corporation
                   Richmond & Danville\1894      /
    East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia/1894 / 
                           Norfolk Southern/'74
                        Central of Georgia/'63
                      Georgia and Florida/
              Alabama & Georgia Southern/
        Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas/
          Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia/'71
         Georgia Southern and Florida/
              Alabama Great Southern/
Cincinnati, New Orleans            /
                   & Texas Pacific/
       New Orleans & Northeastern/
              Savannah & Atlanta/

Ann Arbor\'63
  Detroit, Toledo and Ironton\'80 ('84)
 Detroit and Toledo Shore Line\
                        Grand Trunk Western {CN North America}

Florida East Coast

New York Susquehanna and Western

Toledo, Peoria & Western {once part of AT&SF}

Atlanta and Saint Andrews Bay Railroad (The Bay Line)

Louisiana Midland {bankrupt} -> abandoned July '85

New York, Ontario & Western (bankrupt)->( Erie

Lehigh and New England Railroad (bankrupt)->(Lehigh and New England Railway Compny

L&HR (bankrupt)->( New York, Susquhanna and Western


   1865-Bear Creek Railroad Company\
1869-Shenango and Allegheny Railroad\
        1888-Pittsburgh,Shenango and \
            Lake Erie Railroad Company\
         1897-Pittsburg(no H),Bessemer \
          and Lake Erie Railroad Company\
                   1901-Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company 

          Mobile &Ohio\ Chicago & Alton\'47
Gulf Mobile & Northern >Gulf Mobile & Ohio\'72
                          Illinois Central >Illinois Central Gulf -> Illinois

Louisiana & Arkansas\
              Kansas City Southern

                                 Wisconsin Central
Green Bay & Western >Fox Valley & Western/
   Fox River Valley/'93

Duluth Missabe and Iron Range

                                             /St. Louis Southwestern (Connon Belt)
                                            / Chicago & Northwestern
                                     '79   /  Southern Pacific
Chicago Rock Island & Pacific (bankrupt)->(   Chicago St Paul and Omaha 
                                           \    (Milwaukee Road)
                                            \ Union Pacific
                                             \Missouri Pacific

Chicago Terre Haute and Southeastern\'28
 Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul (Milwaukee Road)\
              Minneapolis Northfield & Southern\
                 Duluth South Shore and Atlantic\
     Sault Sainte Marie, Saint Paul and Pacific (Soo)\ 
                 Delaware and Hudson :Guiford Transp: >{CP Rail System}
                                                /          [CP Limited]
                           Napierville Junction/

Chicago South Shore & South Bend (now government owned)

Detroit & Mackinac -> Lake States Railway

WESTERN US---------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Missouri Illinois\('70s)
            International Great Northern\('50s)
                        Texas and Pacific\
       Chicago and Eastern Illinois {part}\
                                    Missouri Pacific\'82
                              Oakland Terminal {part}\
     The Northern Electric\'10                        \
Oakland, Antioch & Eastern-> Sacramento Northern\'76   \
                               Tidewater Southern\      \
                                          Western Pacific\'82
                                      Spokane International\
                                               Yakima Valley\
                         Laramie Hanes Peak and Pacific(part)\
                                                         Union Pacific
        Chicago Minneapolis & Omaha\                          /
    Fort Dodge Des Moines & Southern\                        /
                                     \                      /
           Chicago Great Western\     \                    /
Chicago and Northwestern Railway->Chicago and Northwestern/'95
     Chicago, St. Paul and Omaha/
        Minneapolis & St. Louis/

Colorado Miidland (abandoned)

Fort Smith and Western (abandoned 1941)
              \Fort Smith and Van Buren Railway {Kansas City Southern}

Laramie Hanes Peak and Pacific(part)\
                Union Pacific (Walden Branch)\
                                    Wyoming and Colorado

Great Western Railway

Camas Prairie {Burlington Northern and Union Pacific}

                          /Montana Rail Link
Burlington Northern (NP) < Washington Central -> Toppenish, Simcoe & 

                 Pacific Electric\
              Northwestern Pacific\('50s)
                    Arizona Eastern\('50s)
                     Central Pacific\('47)
Denver Northwestern and Pacific\     \
                 Denver & Salt Lake\  \
          Denver and Rio Grande Western\
    St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt)\
                      Texas & New Orleans\('60s)
                    El Paso & Southwestern\
                       El Paso Northeastern\
                                   Southern Pacific

Saint Louis, Rocky Mountain, & Pacific\
                   Rocky Mountain & Santa Fe\
               Eastern Railways of New Mexico\
                            New Mexico Central\
                   Santa Fe Central/           \
                 Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient\'28
                     Clinton and Oklahoma Western\
                          Denver, Kansas, and Gulf\
                             Denver, Enid, and Gulf\
                        Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe\
                               Panhandle and Santa Fe\
                                   Hutchinson Southern\
                              Pecos Valley Northeastern\
                                 Oakland Terminal (part)\
                                  Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe -> Sante Fe\
Denver South Park and Pacific\                                          |
       Union Pacific Denver and Gulf\                                   |
                Fort Worth and Denver\                                  |
                          Colorado and Southern\                        |
                                                \                    BNSF
                    Chicago Burlington and Quincy\                      |
                   Pacific Coast Railroad {GN/NP}-\                     |
                          Pacific Coast\           \                    |
                                   Great Northern   >Burlington Northern/
                                 Northern Pacific  /     /   \
                     Spokane Portland and Seattle /'70  /     \Washington Central
                          /                            /             \
          Oregon Electric/('40s)                Frisco/'80            \Toppenish, Simcoe & Western

                        Burlington Northern (Climax Branch)
                                          \Leadville Colorado and Southern

Minnesota, Dakota & Western

Elgin, Joliet & Eastern


    Boston and Maine\
       Maine Central->{Guilford Transportation}
                               \Springfield Terminal

Central Vermont -> New England Central Railroad [Railtex]

Bangor and Aroostook

Providence & Worcester

               '63  /Vermont Railway -> St. LAWRENCE & RACQUETTE RIVER RR
Rutland (bankrupt) ( Green Mountain Railroad

Vermont Northern -> Lamoille Valley


Alaskan Railways\
                 >Alaska Railroad

White Pass and Yukon


                                              Canada & Gulf Terminal\
                                Central Vermont\                     \
                                             Grand Trunk\             \
                                         Northern Alberta\             \
                                               Temiscouata\             \
                                   Canadian Southern (part)\80's         \
                                         Grand Trunk Pacific\             \
      Intercolonial Railway\             Newfoundland Railway\             \
National Transcontinental   >Canadian Government Railways\    \             \
                    Railway/                              >Canadian National \
                                        Canadian Northern/    Railways -> CN Rail
                                              /                            \
                    Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific/                              \Central

  Hamilton and Buffalo\late 60's
  Esquimalt and Nanaimo\
          Quebec Central\
              Grand River\
    Lake Erie and Northern\
     Canada Southern {part}\80's
            Ontario & Quebec\
      Lake Ontario & Western  \       Dominion Atlantic\
                  1870's Canadian Pacific -> CP Rail [CP Limited]
                                                 \Canadian Atlantic [CP Limited]

Pacific Great Eastern -> British Columbia Railway -> BC Rail

Algoma Central


Temiskaming & Northern Ontario -> Ontario Northland

Quebec North Shore & Labrador

Temiskaming and Northern Ontario -> Temiskaming and Northern OntarioOntario Northland


National of Mexico (NdeM)\
     Ferrocarril Pacifico->Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM)
        Chihuahua Pacific/

FCM (Mexican Railway)

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This page is maintained by Chris Lawson (
Last Updated 19th August 1997