There you are in your easy chair sitting at your favorite train watching spot watching those trains go by. You see ‘NS’ trains which stand for the Norfolk Southern Railroad. You see ‘UP’ trains which stand for the Union Pacific Railroad. You see ‘BNSF’ trains which stand for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Then you see ‘CSX’ trains. You wonder what ‘CSX’ stands for. The ‘C’ and ‘S’ could stand for common words, but what word could the ‘X’ stand for?
This is a good observation. Is there an answer? Yes, there is.
The CSX Railroad is a merger of many railroads to include the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first commercial railroad in the United States of America of which many of the oldest rail lines in the nation are still in service today. The ‘C’ stands for the Chessie System, a railroad that ran from West Virginia to Maine to Illinois. The ‘S’ stands for the Seaboard Coast Line, a railroad that main ran from Virginia south to Florida mainly along the Atlantic seaboard. Then there is the ‘X’. What does the ‘X’ stand for? The answer is that the ‘X’ does not stand for any word. It stands as a symbol of the two railroads coming together to form one railroad company.
Today, CSX operate trains in much of the eastern half of the nation and parts of eastern Canada on the oldest rail lines in North America. You can read about the history from the very beginning in 1827 of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the present day to include mergers with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway at https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/history-evolution/, and it is definitely worth your time.
So, the next time you are watching trains at your favorite train watching spot and see a CSX train arriving, remember that CSX stands for many great historic railroads under three letters.
The first photo is a train is at Point of Rocks, Maryland
The second photo is a locomotive at the old train station in Brunswick, Maryland
The third photo is a coal train at Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia
The fourth photo is a locomotive on display at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania
The fifth photo is at the old train station in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia
The sixth photo is a train crossing the Potomac River between Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and Knoxville, Maryland