Norfolk Southern supports restoration of historic locomotive through sale of Rothko painting

 Norfolk Southern supports restoration of historic locomotive through sale of
                               Rothko painting

PR Newswire

NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 22, 2013

NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a fortunate intersection of the
worlds of fine art and railroading, Norfolk Southern has sold a well-known
abstract expressionist painting and will use a portion of the proceeds to help
fund the restoration and long-term maintenance of another American treasure,
the Class J No. 611 steam passenger locomotive.

NS Chairman and CEO Wick Moorman said NS sold its untitled 1959 Mark Rothko
painting through an auction in New York City on Nov. 14 and will direct $1.5
million of the proceeds to "Fire Up 611!," the capital campaign to rehab the
famous Norfolk & Western Railway streamliner and return it to passenger
excursion service.

"No. 611 is an American classic, a reflection of a time and a people who put
the country on their backs and carried it into to the modern age of
railroading," Moorman said. "611 is not an NS, N&W, Virginia, or Roanoke
locomotive. It belongs to everyone and every generation. In that spirit, and
on behalf of NS employees everywhere, I announce our strong support for
bringing back a true national marvel."

"People from 15 countries have contributed their time and resources to bring
back the 'Queen of Steam,'" said Bev Fitzpatrick, executive director of 611's
owner, the Virginia Museum of Transportation (VMT) in Roanoke, Va. "NS'
generous and timely support gives us the best opportunity to reach the $5
million needed to put this icon back on the rails and keep her moving for
decades."

611 rolled out of N&W's Roanoke shops in 1950 and with sister Class A and Y6
locomotives constituted the "Magnificent Three" that pulled passenger and
heavy freight trains during the last two decades of steam railroading in the
U.S. Class J locomotives such as 611 could pull 15 cars at 110 mph, and their
builders once promoted the advanced engineering by showing how several men,
with nothing more than a rope, could pull one on the track. 611 was retired in
1959, restored for excursion service in 1984, and retired again in 1994. Since
then, 611 has been on display at VMT. 

The 611 plan contemplates making it available for service in NS' 21st Century
Steam program in 2014. In this program, several vintage steam locomotives from
NS' past give people throughout the railroad system opportunities to ride
behind the marvelous, powerful locomotives of old, while learning how today's
railroads create jobs, support the economy, save fuel, protect the
environment, and keep America competitive.

"With railroads as the backbone of the country's transportation system – today
as during 611's time – we all can look forward to the brightest days of
America's future," said NS President Jim Squires. "611 represents not just
past glory but infinite possibilities for the future."

Rothko (1903-1970) was a Latvian emigre who became one of the U.S.' most
famous post-World War II artists. He resisted having his works labeled, but
art critics said he wanted people to have spiritual experiences when viewing
them.

NS' signed Rothko painting was created in 1959. The "oil on paper laid down on
canvas" image measures 29-1/2 by 21-1/2 inches and features amorphous forms
that float on top of each other, "…wonderfully capable of moving the viewer to
extreme states of feeling…" according to Sotheby's, the auction house.

NS bought the painting in 1996. It was part of the railroad's collection of
public area visual art and historical artifacts safeguarded throughout the
history of the corporation, including train models, tools, clocks, safety and
service awards, and maps. Some pieces – including the Rothko -- have been
loaned to museums in the U.S. and abroad for exhibitions.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier
transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary
operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of
Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and
provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern
operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major
transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.

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SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation

Website: http://www.nscorp.com
Contact: Norfolk Southern contacts: Media, Frank Brown, 757-629-2710,
fsbrown@nscorp.com or Investors, Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861,
michael.hostutler@nscorp.com
 
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