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Railroads of the 1990s

Modern Railroads Timeline


The Staggers Rail Act becomes law on October 14, beginning deregulation and giving railroads the right to set rates.

Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries merge to form CSX.

Burlington Northern acquires Frisco, connecting Pensacola, Florida, and Seattle, Washington.


Union Pacific merges with Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific, tapping new markets in Texas, Louisiana, and the San Francisco Bay area.


Southern and Norfolk & Western merge to create Norfolk Southern. The innovative NS establishes itself as a major coal hauler and freight line.


The Soo Line purchases the remnants of the once mighty Milwaukee Road.


Norfolk Southern begins regular operation of its RoadRailer units-versatile containers that can ride the rails or the highways.


Conrail goes public in the largest stock offering in U.S. history.


Rio Grande and Southern Pacific unite as Southern Pacific Lines.

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas line becomes part of Union Pacific.


Canadian Pacific buys Delaware & Hudson, increasing its presence in the northeastern United States.


Amtrak begins operating Virginia Railway Express commuter trains around Washington, D.C.


The first diesel locomotives powered by AC (alternating current) enter service on Burlington Northern.


Burlington and Santa Fe merge.

Union Pacific acquires Chicago & North Western, then announces plans to merge with Southern Pacific.