This is a paper railroad I've been creating for a while now and decided to share. For me it's all about the realism of the story so I created an entire history from beginning to the current date.The story starts with the the Little Kanawha Railroad Company being organized in 1896 to build a railway east from Parkersburg, WV to Burnsville, WV. In 1903 the Elk and Little Kanawha Railroad was built as a logging railroad. But it effectively connected the LKRR with B&O's Grafton-Charleston line. Also in 1903 the Chesapeake Western Railway attempted to take over the Little Kanawha Railroad but was turned down. So far this all happened, but here is where reality ends. In my world the Chesapeake Western took over the Little Kanawha Railroad and in 1908 successfully conected the two railroads with trackage rights on the B&O and WM from Gilmer to Elkins, WV and a new line from Elkins to the Chesapeake Western in Stokesville, VA. Managment soon realized that even with the coal from there wasnt enough traffic along the railroad to be profitable, so in 1914 they built a main line from Parkersburg north to Zanesville, OH and then continued further north the port of Lorain, OH. In 1920 the 3ft gauge Elk & Litlle Kanawha was puschase by Chesapeake Western and standard gauged.
Fast forward 39 years to 1959 and the Chesapeake Western is a highly profitable railroad and after several months of negotiations managment agreed to merge with the Virginian Railway. Both companies were combined into a new railroad called Virginian & Western Railway. Two railroads were conected by using New York Central's need for cash and purchasing 51% of their Columbus-Charleston route in 1961. Two years later the Interstate Commerce Comission ordered the B&O Railroad to sell it's majority share of WM Railway. The Virginian & Western was the highest bidder and took control of the WM in 1963. Soon afterwards the Virginian & Western leased the Pittsburg & West Virginia Railway in 1964 with the option to purchase. Three years later that option was chosen and the P&WV was purchased in 1967.
When the Erie Lackawanna opted out of Conrail they started looking for a merger partner. After Chessie System fell through the Virginian & Western was the next in line. This time the merger was succesful and both railroads were placed under Erie Western System along with the WM and P&WV in 1975, but all four continued to operate seperatly much like Chessie System.
This continued until 1983 when the Erie Western System merged with the Appalachian Central Railroad. Which is another one of my paper railroads that operates between Nashville, TN and Ironton, OH via Corbin, KY. All of the railroads under Erie Western System and the Appalachian Central were merged into Appalachian Western Railway by 1984.
1985 brought low profit margins for Chessie System and to make some quick cash they granted trackage rights between Parkersburg and Ironton, OH and sold the Parkersburg-St. Louis route to the Appalachain Western. In 1989 the Appalachian Western purchased the P&LE's share of the Monongahela Railroad. Shortly after in 1991 the P&LE was purchased by the Appalachian Western. In 2004 BC Rail was put up for sale by the Providence of British Columbia and after a bidding war with Candian National the Appalachian Western ended up leasing BC Rail. In 2009 the Elk River Railroad was purchased and after years of trying the Appalachain Western had finally gained ownership of part of the ex B&O Charleston-Grafton route. Two years later in 2011 the Appalachian Western was asked to operate Big Eagle Rail, West Virginia's oldest short line, in Winifrede, WV. Late 2012 brought an addition to the AW in the form of the Iowa Pacific Railway, which was purchased from the TSt.L&C. Ironically on April 5, 2013 the AW and TSt.L&C were consolidated under Northern Consolidated Rail (aka NorCon) but kept seperate identites.
That's the entire history of my paper railroad up to date. Below is the system map.
The locomotive roster is further down on this page.