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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

In memoriam: Former N&W leader, NS 'architect' John Fishwick


John “Jack” Fishwick, the former president and chief executive officer of the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) who helped forge the Southern Railway merger that led to Norfolk Southern Corp.'s creation in 1982, died Aug. 9. He was 93.

Fishwick joined N&W’s law department in 1945 after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later became senior vice president and was elected to N&W’s board. In 1968, Fishwick was named chairman and CEO of the Erie Lackawanna Railway, and president of the Delaware & Hudson Railway, which both were affiliated with N&W. He became N&W’s president and CEO in 1970, a post he held until 1981.

Fishwick, who opened merger talks with Southern Railway in 1981, was “always thinking about strategy and how to make the right move to strengthen the company,” said former NS Chairman, President and CEO David Goode in a news item posted on NS’ website.

Fishwick was a “visionary leader” and NS’ “principal architect,” said current NS Chairman, President and CEO Wick Moorman.

“Our company would not have become the premier railroad it is today without his strong leadership and continuing wise counsel,” he said. “All of us in the Norfolk Southern family are saddened by Jack Fishwick's passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

While heading the N&W, Fishwick also advocated the promotion of women and minorities, and started a treatment program for employees suffering from alcoholism “long before such programs were in vogue,” NS officials said.

Fishwick is survived by his wife, Doreen, one son, two daughters, two stepchildren and six grandchildren.