Corporate Genealogy
Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad


The railroad of The Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Company, herein called the carrier, is a standard-gauge steam railroad, located in Norfolk County, Va. The owned main-line mileage consists of 5.725 miles extending from Port Norfolk to Berkley, of which 3.368 miles are double tracked, and a branch line of 6.042 miles extending from Berkley to Burrell. The carrier also owns 22.780 miles of yard tracks and sidings. Its road thus embraces 37.915 miles of all tracks owned, including the 3.368 miles of second main track. The carrier also operates 1.851 miles of main track and 0.229 mile of yard tracks and sidings owned by The Atlantic and Danville Railway Company, a lessor of the Southern Railway, and used exclusively by the carrier under agreement with the Southern Railway. The railroad operated by the carrier therefore consists of 13.618 miles of first main tracks and 26.377 miles of other tracks, or a total of 39.995 miles of all tracks.


The carrier connects with the eight railroads which conrol it, namely: Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company; The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company; Norfolk Southern Railroad Company; Norfolk and Western Railway Company; New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company; Seaboard Air Line Railway Company; the Southern Railway Company; and The Virginian Railway Company.


The carrier was first incorporated as The Southeastern and Atlantic Railroad Company, by special act of Virginia, March 4, 1896, but by special act of Virginia, January 12, 1898, the name was changed to The Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Company. Organization was perfected April 17, 1897. The carrier was incorporated for the purpose of constructing, maintaining, and operating a standard-gauge railroad around the cities of Berkley and Portsmouth, Va., connecting the eight railroad lines entering the territory. The carrier is controlled by the eight roads above referred to, through ownership, in equal parts, of the entire issue of the carrier's capital stock.


The main line, Port Norfolk to Berkley, about 5.725 miles, was constructed for the carrier by an independent contractor between September 27, 1897, and September 26, 1898, being opened for operation on the latter date. The branch line, Berkley to a connection with the Elizabeth River Railroad Company, about 1.432 miles, was constructed by the carrier's own forces in the year 1905. On June 1, 1910, the carrier acquired the railroad property, and franchises of the Elizabeth River Railroad Company, consisting of 4.610 miles of single-track, standard-gauge railroad, extending from a connection with the carrier at Berkley to Burrell.


The carrier operates under agreement with the Southern Railway about 1.851 miles of road from Belt Line Junction to Portsmouth, which is owned by the Atlantic and Danville, the consideration being $100 per annum and the proper maintenance of the property, subject to cancellation on sixty days' notice.

The carrier owns jointly and uses jointly with Atlantic Coast Line and the Southern Railway interlocking tower and plant at Port Norfolk, for which it pays 64 per cent of the cost of operation and maintenance and the same proportion of the taxes and insurance.

The carrier owns and uses jointly with Atlantic Coast Line, the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk, and the Southern Railway interchange tracks in its Port Norfolk yard, for the use of which it receives from each company a 5 per cent return on the valuation of the property used, plus a proportion of the taxes.

The carrier owns, and uses jointly with New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk, a fuel station at Port Norfolk.

Original data source: Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission Vol. 133 pp 785, 791 796
Interstate Commerce Commission
Washington, DC
November 1927

Although published in 1927, the report is " of date of valuation" which was 30 June, 1916

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