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The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O, CO) formed in 1869, later based in Cleveland, Ohio, tapped the coal reserves of West Virginia, established Newport News, VA with coal piers on the Atlantic, and forged a rail link to our Midwest, serving the USA States of IL, IN, KY, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA, WADC, WV, and WI with freight and passenger traffic. In 1962 the C&O became part of the CHESSIE SYSTEM along with the B&O and WM Railways. In the 1980s the CHESSIE combined with SCL and L&N, (Family Lines), to become a key portion of CSX Transportation, and adding a substantial portion of CONRAIL in 1999.
Some of the most common cars to ride American railroad tracks during the 20th century, the steel paneled, rib-side, 2-bay hoppers, were instrumental to the growth of our nation. During the Industrial Age of the USA, coal was "King" and our appetite for "black diamonds" was sated by these pert little dumpsters. An improvement over "drop-bottom" gondolas, the true self-disposing, gravity-release hopper car became reality during the early 1900's, and fed the fires of our burgeoning economy until well after mid-century. No longer used for large commercial hauling, these mighty mites are all pervasive, found on every short-line anywhere there are rails, still lugging coal, gravel, ore, sand, glass, and a variety of bulk materials. An invaluable "workhorse" for our contemporary Railroads. Herein, a pair of these 2-bay hoppers, for Chesapeake and Ohio, complete with custom coal loads by Hay Bros.