Railroads

Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Cincinnati Spring Grove Industrial Track

The Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad (B&O SW) Spring Grove Industrial Track was located in Cincinnati, Ohio and is currently out-of-service.

Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad

The Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad was a narrow gauge railroad in Powell and Menifee counties in Kentucky constructed circa 1910 to access the virgin forests of the Red River valley.

Brimstone & New River Railroad

The Brimstone & New River Railroad is a disused railroad from the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway at New River, Tennessee southeast to Lone Mountain. Chartered as the Brimstone Railroad by the W.M. Ritter Lumber company of Virginia, the logging line followed Brimstone Creek and featured lightweight, unballasted track. The line came to fruition after Ritter purchased the New River Lumber Company. The railroad featured a branch within nearly every hollow, with tracks that ascended the mountains via switchbacks. The Brimstone, from Slick Rock north, was paralleled by the earlier Knoxville and New River Railroad (K&NR). The line operated three shay locomotives.

Central Ohio Railway

Construction of the Central Ohio Railway, which was proposed to connect Columbus, Ohio to Bellaire, began in June 1850. On November 21, 1866, the Central Ohio concluded a deal with the B&O for a term of 20 years, during which the B&O would operate the railroad.

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad

Dawkins Subdivision

The Chesapeake & Ohio Dawkins Subdivision extends from Dawkins, near West Van Lear, to Evanston, Kentucky and was 36 miles long.

Greenbrier Division

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) Greenbrier Division served the Greenbrier River valley in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia. At its peak, the route was 101 miles in length and extended from Whitcomb between Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs northward to Winterburn, east of Durbin. It was one of the C&O’s primary branch lines for timber products and served more lumber companies than any other in the state.

Hawks Nest Subdivision

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad abandoned the steep rail grade that traveled from Ansted to Hawks Nest, West Virginia from 1890 to 1972. Today, the graveled and dirt trail features two trestles and views of the old mines and support functions for the railroad.

Middle Creek Subdivision

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Middle Creek Subdivision extended from the C&O’s Big Sandy Subdivision at Prestonsburg to David, Kentucky. It was last used in the 1990s.

Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Spur

The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (USEC), located in Piketon, Ohio, was part of a United States government program to produce highly enriched uranium to fuel nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Two railroad spurs were constructed from both the Chesapeake and Ohio and from Norfolk and Western.

Chesapeake Western Railway

The Chesapeake Western Railway is a railroad that once extended from Stokesville, Virginia in Augusta County eastward to Elkton via Harrisonburg. Despite its early potential as a through route between Cincinnati and Washington D.C., and later as a feeder to the coal mines in West Virginia, the railroad never lived up to its potential.

Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad

The Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad was the shortest route between Cincinnati and Chicago. Today, much of the line has been abandoned.

Cincinnati & Eastern Railroad

The Cincinnati and Eastern Railway was a railroad from Idlewild in Norwood, near Cincinnati, to Portsmouth, Ohio. At its western terminus, it connected with the Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern (CL&N) and the Pennsylvania Railroad Richmond Division (PRR), and to a Norfolk & Western line at its eastern terminus.

Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad

Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley Railroad

The Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley connected the cities of Morrow, Wilmington, Washington Court House, Circleville, Zanesville and Trinway in Ohio.

Cincinnati & Westwood Railroad

The Cincinnati & Westwood was a short lived suburban railway from the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton to Westwood, then a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. It carried very little traffic from its inception to its closure in 1941.

Cincinnati, Columbus & Hocking Valley Railroad

The Cincinnati, Columbus & Hocking Valley Railroad is a defunct railroad that was later purchased by the Ohio Southern, and was a route extending from Sedalia to Kingman via Jeffersonville, Ohio. It was once proposed as a connection between Columbus and Cincinnati generally along what is now the Interstate 71 corridor.

Cincinnati Georgetown & Portsmouth Railroad

The Cincinnati & Portsmouth Railway Company was incorporated in March 1873, tasked with constructing a railroad from Cincinnati, Ohio eastward to Portsmouth along the Ohio River. It was later renamed to the Cincinnati, Georgetown and Portsmouth Railroad, although the railroad only reached Russellville, east of Georgetown, before running out of funding.

Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad

The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad (CH&D) was a railroad that existed between Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio via Hamilton with a spur to Ironton.

Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg & Aurora Railroad

Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway

The Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway was a railroad in southwest Ohio, connecting Cincinnati to Dayton via Lebanon.

Cincinnati Southern

The Cincinnati-owned and financed Cincinnati Southern began operations at King’s Mountain, Kentucky, and extended north to Cincinnati and south to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is part of the Norfolk Southern line today. A modernization project that began in the 1960s has left many tunnels and alignments abandoned.

Cincinnati Street Connecting Railway

The Cincinnati Street Connecting Railway was a short 2.5 mile line along Cincinnati, Ohio’s riverfront, connecting the Indianapolis & Cincinnati and Little Miami.

Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad

Paducah-East Cairo Line

Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad’s 34-mile Paducah-East Cairo line was constructed in 1902-03 between East Cairo and Paducah, Kentucky and abandoned in 1943 after a wooden trestle burned.

Coal & Coke Railway

The Coal & Coke Railway was a railroad that stretched from Charleston, West Virginia to Elkins, and included branches that connected to many coal fields and coke ovens.

College Hill Railroad

The College Hill Railroad was a line connecting the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton at Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the College Hill and Mt. Healthy neighborhoods to the north. An extension to Ross was once planned but never constructed. Due to competition from an adjoining streetcar line, the railroad was electrified and became an interurban, before succumbing to financial troubles in 1938.

Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway

The Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway served the upper peninsula of Michigan, namely to carry iron or cooper ore to smelters and docks along the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad

The Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad is a defunct railroad that had its beginnings as the Iron Railroad Company, which connected Ironton to the coal and timber reserves in southern Ohio. Through acquisitions and mergers, the DT&I stretched for over 370 miles from Ironton to the automobile manufacturing plants in Michigan.

Eastern Kentucky Railway

The Eastern Kentucky Railway (EK) was a 36 mile railroad in northeastern Kentucky that connected Riverton to Webbville.

Flemingsburg & Northern Railroad

The Flemingsburg & Northern Railroad was a standard-gauge railroad that existed from the Louisville & Nashville line at Flemingsburg Junction, Kentucky to Flemingsburg. It was financially plagued and reorganized on seven different occasions before being abandoned in 1955.

Hocking Valley Railway

An overview of the Hocking Valley Railway, including the Gallipolis, McArthur & Columbus Railroad and the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in southeast Ohio.

Kentucky Union Railway

The Kentucky Union Railway was a railroad that extended for 95 miles from Lexington to Jackson, Kentucky. The company was incorporated in 1872 to reach coal and timber resources in the southeastern reaches of the state.

Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad

The Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad is an iron ore hauler in northern Michigan. All of the lines east of Marquette were abandoned in 1979, with the exception of 5 miles of track that connects with the ex-Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad to a paper mill in Munising.

Little Miami Railroad

Chartered as Ohio’s second railroad, the Little Miami connected Cincinnati, Ohio to Xenia and Springfield. It later connected with Columbus. The Little Miami was one of the most profitable railroads in the United States, although its usage and importance declined after World War II. After consolidations and mergers, the Little Miami was dismantled in 1976, and was revived less than a decade later as the longest rail to trail in the United States.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad

Lebanon Branch

Richmond to Lancaster Branch

Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad

The Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad is a defunct railroad that connected Cincnnnati, Ohio to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Through acquisitions during the 1800s, the M&C commanded over 270 miles of railroad, from Cincinnati to Marietta and south to Portsmouth and Hillsboro. The line was later absorbed into the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern, and some of the route has been dismantled.

New River, Holston & Western Railroad

The New River, Holston & Western Railroad is a former railroad that extended from Narrows on the New River in Giles County to the village of Suiter in Bland County, Virginia. The 43-mile line followed Wolf Creek or its tributaries for its entire length.

Nicholas, Fayette and Greenbrier Railway

The Nicholas, Fayette & Greenbrier Railway (NF&G) was a paper railroad named after the three counties it served in the New River coal field in West Virginia. The ICC created the NF&G in 1929 to resolve claims by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and the New York Central to serve newly developing mines in the Sewall seam in a remote mountainous area north of the New River and along the Meadow River. A large section of the line was abandoned in 1997 and in 2008.

Norfolk & Western Railroad

Twelve Pole Branch

The Norfolk & Western, as part of the Ohio Extension from Elkhorn, West Virginia to Coal Grove, Ohio, snaked through the mountainous canyons throughout the rich coalfields. A part of this alignment, from Lenore to Wayne, West Virginia, was abandoned in 1933 when improvements were made to the line along the Big Sandy River.

Ohio & Kentucky Railway

The Ohio & Kentucky Railway (O&K) was incorporated by the Kentucky Block Cannel Coal Company, who had leased 5,400 acres of cannel coal in Caney, Morgan County, Kentucky. The near 40 mile railroad extended from just north of Jackson to the Licking River and was active from 1911 until 1933.

Oneida & Western Railroad

The Oneida & Western Railroad is an abandoned rail line between Jamestown and Oneida, Tennessee. The line served vast pockets of virgin timber and coal mines before it was abandoned in 1954 after many years of financial troubles.

Richmond Nicholasville Irvine & Beattyville Railroad

The Richmond, Nicholasville, Irvine & Beattyville Railroad (RNI&B, Riney-B) was a railroad that existed between Versailles to Irvine, Kentucky. It was acquired by another railroad in 1899 and extended to Beattyville and Airedale. Another acquisition extended the line west to Frankfort, giving a total mileage of around 110 miles.

Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway

Hocking Valley Railway, Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway

West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway

The West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway was a railroad that once extended from Elkins into the highlands of West Virginia and eventually to Cumberland, Maryland to serve the coal and timber interests.

Depots & Other Structures

Baltimore & Ohio Depot (St. Bernard, Ohio)

The Baltimore & Ohio Depot at St. Bernard, Ohio was constructed for the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad and accommodated freight and passengers.

Big Four Railroad Depot (Springfield, Ohio)

The Big Four Railroad Depot was located in downtown Springfield, Ohio at Washington and Spring Street. The depot was constructed on the site of one of two Indian mounds in the city. It was demolished in 1969.

Cleveland Railway Company Cedar Avenue Substation

Cleveland Railway Company Cedar Avenue Substation

The Cedar Avenue substation was constructed in 1917, and was the first automatic substation completed for the Cleveland Railway Company.

Coster Repair Shops

The Coster Repair Shops for the Southern Railway was constructed in 1895 in Knoxville, Tennessee and at its peak, employed over 1,200. It was named after Charles Henry Coster, founder of the Southern Railway System. The facility closed in 1995.

Covington and Lexington Railroad Depot (Paris, Kentucky)

The Covington and Lexington Railroad (C&L) was incorporated in 1851 in Covington, Kentucky to connect to Lexington. The Paris depot was constructed in 1853 after several years of “agitation.”

East Cleveland Railroad Cedar Avenue Power House

Over the period of a century, the collection of industrial structures from Cedar Avenue south to Thackeray Avenue along Ashland Road in Cleveland, Ohio have been home to a variety of uses and a variety of businesses. Beginning as a power house for the East Cleveland Railroad in 1888, the plant was reused for the Cleveland Ice Machine Company, Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing and then Thompson Products. Under Thompson, it became part of the Thompson Aircraft Products Company Pump Division, which manufactured pumps and valves for the military and industries in the United States. After Thompson vacated in the mid-1960s, the structures became home to the Virden Manufacturing Company until its abrupt closure in 1979.

20090104-20090104-DSC_7206

Michigan Central Station (Detroit, Michigan)

Michigan Central Station, located in the Corktown district of Detroit, Michigan, was constructed in mid-1913 for the Michigan Central Railroad at a cost of $15 million. Replacing an earlier passenger rail depot that had burned, the station boasted decent ridership until post-World War II. Attempts were made to sell the station during the 1950s and 1960s due to sharply falling passenger counts, and was nearly closed until Amtrak renovated the station in the 1970s. The last train rolled out in 1988.

Norfolk & Western Railroad Depot (Portsmouth, Ohio)

Russell YMCA (Russell, Kentucky)

Once an important overnight stop that included a restaurant and lounges for many railroad workers that were employed with the many rail lines in the area, the Russell, Kentucky Railyards YMCA became shuttered as a result of modernization and the downsizing of the railroad industry.