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The Southern Railway emerged in 1894 as a consolidation of some thirty Southern railroads, large and small, which had been financially weakened by the Panic of 1893. The South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company, chartered in December 1827, ran America`s first regularly scheduled steam-powered passenger train, the wood-burning Best Friend of Charleston, on a 6-mile section out of Charleston, South Carolina, on December 25, 1830.
The line continued to operate under its own name until 1990, when it was taken over by the Norfolk Southern Corporation and renamed the Norfolk Southern Railway.