Kimball's interest in geology was instrumental in the development of the Pocahontas coalfields in western Virginia and West Virginia.
He pushed N&W lines through the wilds of West Virginia, north to Columbus, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio, and south to Durham, North Carolina and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
New steam locomotives were built there until 1953, long after diesel-electric had emerged as the motive power of choice for most North American railroads.
About 1960, N&W was the last major railroad in the United States to convert from steam to diesel power.
Today it stokes steel mills and power plants all over the globe.
The Norfolk & Western was famous for manufacturing steam locomotives in-house.
At the foreclosure auction, the AM&O was purchased by E. Clark & Co., a private banking firm in Philadelphia which controlled the Shenandoah Valley Railroad then under construction up the valley from Hagerstown, Maryland.
The AM&O was renamed Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W). Kimball, a civil engineer and partner in the Clark firm, headed the new line and the new Shenandoah Valley Railroad.
After the American Civil War (1861–1865), William Mahone, a civil engineer and hero of the Battle of the Crater, was the driving force in the linkage of 3 railroads, including the V&T, across the southern tier of Virginia to form the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad (AM&O), a new line extending from Norfolk to Bristol, Virginia in 1870.The Great Indian Warpath which later merged into the colonial Great Wagon Road, one of the most heavily traveled roads of eighteenth century America, ran from Philadelphia through the Shenandoah Valley to the future site of the City of Roanoke, where the Roanoke River passed through the Blue Ridge.The Carolina Road branched off in Cloverdale, Virginia to Boones Mill, Virginia, and on to the Yadkin River Valley.Roanoke has a weak mayor-city manager form of government.The city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city's government and has the authority to hire and fire city employees.The Roanoke Gap proved a useful route for immigrants to settle the Carolina Piedmont region.