The Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad "Belt Line" began business in 1898 after having been formed by eight "line-haul" railroads. Today, after mergers and consolidations of the original owners, Norfolk Southern Corporation owns fifty-seven percent of the Company and CSX Corporation owns forty-three percent. The Belt Line interchanges with both of the owners as well as the Bay Coast Railroad and the Chesapeake and Albemarle Railroad. Industries on the Belt Line enjoy good competitive transportation links to the world. The Belt Line is a terminal switching company that owns 36 miles of track, (plus 27 miles of trackage rights) and links commerce around the deepwater port from Sewells Point to Portsmouth Marine Terminal and including the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. Some of the Belt Line customers are A & R Logistics, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, ARREFF Terminals, Elizabeth River Terminals, and Perdue to name a few. In 2005 and 2006 the Beltline received the Jake Award and in 2007 and 2008 the Jake Award with Distinction, from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, in recognition of exceeding the industry safety average. Safe railroad operations equate to dependable, cost effective railroad service.
Switching services are available to meet customer needs. The Belt Line's switching fees are most often absorbed in the line-haul carrier's rates and are therefore transparent to the customer who normally receives one bill for services rendered. The Belt Line is structured for timely customer service which adds to the competitiveness of its customers in the marketplace. The Belt Line currently serves 24 industries.