In the late 1860s, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) pushed its first tracks westward from Virginia's Tidewater region across the mountains into what was then the new state of West Virginia. Ultimately its tracks stretched across a half-dozen states and even into Canada. Appalachian coal was the C&O's primary cargo, but its fast freights carried shipments of all kinds, and its crack passenger trains were marvels of their day. In 1963, the C&O merged with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the first of what would become a wave of railroad mergers. Today the old C&O is part of giant CSX Transportation. Images of Rail: The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway gathers 200 photographs that chronicle the C&O story. Here is a fond look back at its mammoth steam locomotives and the diesels that replaced them, its bustling passenger stations, and much more, including the legendary John Henry, who beat that steam drill, and Chessie, the sleeping kitten that was the C&O's much-loved trademark.