|Whizzing through the mountain,|
|Buzzing o' the vale;-|
|Bless me! This is pleasant--|
|Riding on a rail.|
JOHN G. SAXE, " of the Rail."
It was but a single
year after the successful experiments of GEORGE STEPHENSON at Gadshill,
We now proceed to give
an outline history of those railways which actually traverse Hamilton
or some part of it, without detailed reference to the entry into
of trains from other lines upon the tracks of these roads.
This was the pioneer railroad constructed into or from Cincinnati. It received its charter from the State March 11, 1836. The agitation in behalf of it took its rise in Cincinnati from a pressing sense of the need of a railway connection with the north and east through a route to Sandusky, connecting with the lake navigation, and thus affording a more ready and convenient outlet for the yearly increasing product of the Miami valley than the river supplied. The route proposed lay altogether in the valley of the Little Miami to Xenia, sixty-six miles from the city, and thence to Springfield, eighty-four miles in all. This was the whole length of the road, as originally surveyed and chartered. At Springfield it was to meet the Lake Erie and Mad River railroad, forming with it a continuous line to Sandusky. Here also it intersected the National road, upon or near which a railway was sure to be built soon to Columbus and thence eastward.
For the work of survey the services of a young scientist, then of but twenty-six years, struggling with pecuniary difficulties in the maintenance of his family and the establishment of the Cincinnati observatory, were secured as engineer. He afterwards became renowned as the astronomer, popular lecturer, author, and army commander, professor, and general, Ormsby M. MITCHEL. Young MITCHEL threw himself into the enterprise with all the energy which secured to the city of his adoption the observatory and its great telescope, in the face of tremendous difficulties. He became not merely a hired servant, but an active promoter, of the enterprise. He surveyed the route, made his estimates, and then aided in the push for pecuniary aid. In conjunction with Mr. George W. NEFF, a prominent and influential citizen of Cincinnati, he pressed the merits of the project upon the attention of the city council, and finally secured a loan of the public credit of the city to the amount of two hundred thousand dollars. He then went to eastern cities, and did what he could, under the depressing circumstances of the financial panic of those years, to secures further pecuniary aid for the company. Under the legislative act of March 24, 1837, the road secured a loan of State credit amounting to one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars. Gradually but surely, as means became available in those " times," the construction of the road was pushed, and finally, in August, 1846, more than a decade after the obtainment of its charter, the promoters of the project had the satisfaction of witnessing its completion to Springfield. It was a gala time for Cincinnati—the consummation of the first of its since numerous railway enterprises.
The difficulties with which this pioneer railroad battled in its earlier years were at times almost insurmountable. They were admirably depicted, from personal recollections, in the address of Hon. S. S. L' delivered at a celebration by the Cincinnati Pioneer association, April 7, 1874:
The struggle of the officers of the Little Miami company to carry on their work, the then young civil engineers can best record. They could tell how often, when pay-day came, how many cattle were butchered and distributed to the laborers—cattle which had been received in payment of the farmers' subscriptions to capital stock. They could also tell how the men of the " and the pick" surround the house of hones William LEWIS, the treasurer, demanding money from an empty treasury, calling him every kind of hard name, until he was forced in search of his president, in order to resign, saying, " men, when I tell them I have no money, call me a liar and scoundrel so often and so earnestly that I begin to think that I am and what they call me, and I must resign."
Thirty miles of the
road were nevertheless opened to
The connection for Sandusky was not completed till the latter part of 1848, when the Little Miami and the Mad River railroads gave Cincinnati her first rail and water communication with the Atlantic coast. A large passenger and freight business was at once commanded; the leading stage lines upon or near the route soon were disused, and a great impetus was given to railway construction.
The connection for
Columbus was made at Xenia by the Columbus & Xenia railroad, which
was, however, not constructed until 1849-9, the first passenger train
it February 20, 1850. Soon afterwards the members of the general
made an excursion over this and the Little Miami roads to Cincinnati.
30, 1853, the two companies operating each its own road entered into an
arrangement by which both were operated as a single line. January 1,
they came into possession, by lease, of the Dayton & Western and
Richmond & Miami railways, and later in the same year, by purchase,
of the division of the Dayton, Xenia & Belpre road between the two
places first named. The partnership arrangement of 1853 was dissolved
30, 1868, when the Little Miami company took a lease for ninety-nine
of the Columbus & Xenia road, and all the rights and interests of
corporation in the Dayton and Western, Xenia & Belpre, and Richmond
& Miami roads. Just one year and one day thereafter the Pittsburgh,
Cincinnati & St. Louis (Pan-Handle) railroad company leased of the
Little Miami company its own road, the branch owned by it from Xenia to
Dayton, and all its rights in the Columbus & Xenia and other roads.
The lease is for ninety years, renewable forever, and brings an annual
rental of eight per cent, to the Little Miami company on its capital
besides interest on the funded debt, five thousand dollars yearly for
of organization, and the fulfillment of lease obligations to its own
lines. The road is operated by the Pennsylvania company, which was a
to the contract, and by whom its faithful performance was guaranteed.
total length of its lines is one hundred and nine-five and nine-tenths
miles—eighty-four on the main line, Cincinnati to Springfield; sixteen
on its branch, Xenia to Dayton; fifty-four and seventy-four hundredths
on its leased line from Xenia to Columbus; thirty-seven on that from
to the Indiana State line (Dayton & Western), and four and
thence to Richmond, Indiana (Richmond & Miami). It is one of the
profitable roads in the United States, its earnings per mile in 1879
six thousand eight hundred and one dollars and ninety-two cents, and
expenses but four thousand four hundred and fifty-eight dollars and
cents per mile. A spacious and costly new depot is building for it on
southeast corner of Pearl and Butler streets, Cincinnati, erected, of
by the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis railroad company.
This was the second railroad to get into Cincinnati. Its company was chartered March 2, 1846, under the name of the " & Hamilton Railroad company." An act passed March 15, 1849, to amend the several acts relating to the company, gave it its present corporate name. It is an interesting and noteworthy fact, considering the period of its construction, that the road was built without the aid of township subscriptions to its capital stock, and that its stocks and bonds sold at par, without cost of brokerage, in New York or elsewhere. In Cincinnati so sublime yet practical a faith was reposed in the enterprise, that in less than a month three-quarters of a million dollars, in cash subscriptions, were placed at its service; while the capitalists of New York city were to take the rest of the stock and the first issue of the bonds of the road at par. It was the first case of the kind, as to the fact last mentioned, and it is said to have surprised the brokers of Gotham very thoroughly. Western railroad securities had not theretofore been placed in that city without suffering large discounts, selling for but eighty to eighty-five cents on the dollar.
The road was pushed rapidly, and was opened for business within a little more than a year—on the nineteenth of September, 1851. For a long time it paid fair dividends to its stockholders, and promptly met all its obligations.
On the eighteenth of
February, 1869, the Cincinnati, Richmond & Chicago railroad company
leased its road and property, in perpetuity, to the Cincinnati,
& Dayton railroad company, and assigned to that company also its
of the Richmond & Miami railway. Previous to this, May 1, 1863, the
railway from Dayton
This was the third
of the Queen City' successful railroad enterprises, in order of time.
road reaches from Cincinnati to East St. Louis, on the Mississippi
opposite St. Louis, a distance of three hundred and forty miles, only
and one-half miles being in the State of Ohio. The road was built by
corporations, completed in 1857, and since operated under a sole
portion from Cincinnati to the Illinois State line as the eastern
and that in Illinois as the western division. Originally it had a gauge
of six feet, and kin connection with the Atlantic & Great Western
the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio) and the Erie lines, made a
broad-gauge route between St. Louis and New York. The western division
was sold under foreclosure in June, 1862, and reorganized as the Ohio
Mississippi railway company, February 5, 1863. The eastern division was
sold January 9, 1867, to the owners of the western division, and the
line consolidated November 21, 1867, with its present title. In
to the main line above given, a branch road has lately been opened from
the main line at North Vernon, Indiana, to Jeffersonville, in the same
State, and Louisville, fifty-three miles in length, called the
Division of the Ohio & Mississippi railway company. This was
on the old, abandoned line of the Fort Wayne & Southern railroad of
Indiana. The Springfield division was purchased January 1, 1875. It is
the old Springfield & Illinois Southeastern, sold under foreclosure
in 1874, purchased by the bondholders, and transferred to the Ohio
Mississippi company, March 1, 1875. The principal office is in St.
and the fiscal and transfer agency is in New York city. Professor and
O. M. MITCHEL did much of the early surveying on the road to eke out a
poor income derived from his scientific and pedagogic labors.
The original company was chartered as the Belpre & Cincinnati railroad company, March 8, 1845. In 1851, by the consolidation of the Belpre & Cincinnati and the Franklin & Ohio River railroad companies, its title was changed to the present one, and by the same act the company was authorized to build a railroad from a point on the Ohio river opposite Parkersburgh, (sic) Virginia, or from Harmar, opposite Marietta, to the city of Cincinnati. The main line was finished to the Little Miami at Loveland, April 20, 1857. A reorganization occurred August 15, 1860, through bankruptcy. Soon after this the Union railroad was purchased, extending nine miles, from Scott' Landing to Belpre; also the Hillsborough & Cincinnati railroad. The latter extended from Hillsborough to Loveland, sixteen miles of which, from Loveland to Blanchester, constituted a part of the main line, and the remaining twenty-one miles are now known as the Hillsborough branch. January 26, 1864, the reorganized company purchased that part of the Scioto & Hocking Valley railroad extending from Portsmouth to the present track of the Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley railroad in Perry county, a distance of over ninety miles, but having only fifty-six miles of road in operation.
The extension from
Loveland do the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad was
February 17, 1866. The Cincinnati & Baltimore railroad, reaching
Cincinnati to Cincinnati and Baltimore Junction, continues the line
and eight-tenths miles into Cincinnati, and was opened June 1, 1872, to
furnish the Marietta & Cincinnati a track into the city under its
control as a leased line. The Baltimore Short Line railway, thirty and
three-tenths miles, was opened November 15, 1874, and is leased by this
company. The total length of lines now in use by the Marietta &
is three hundred and twelve miles. Its own road is one hundred and
and one-tenth miles long.
This railway was chartered
March 12, 1845, and the entire road of the original line, one hundred
thirty-eight miles, was completed February 22, 1851. In 1861 the
purchased that portion of the Springfield, Mount Vernon &
railway which lies between Delaware and Springfield, The Cincinnati and
Springfield company was organized September 9, 1870, and its road
July 1, 1872. It was built as an extension into Cincinnati of the
Columbus, Cincinnati, & Indianapolis railroad, and was leased in
to that company on completion, the lessor operating the road, and
any balance over operating expenses, after interest on bonds is paid,
the lessees. At the end of the year 1879 the total length of its lines
was four hundred and seventy-one and sixty-five hundredths miles; it
three hundred and ninety-one and two-tenths miles. This route is
known as the " Line," and the Cincinnati and Springfield end of it as
" Short Line."
This road extends from
Cincinnati to the Indiana State line, a distance of twenty and one-half
miles. Here connection is made with the original line of the Cincinnati
and St. Louis railroad company. This company was incorporated April 18,
1861. The Harrison branch, extending from a point in Whitewater
known as the Valley junction, to a point on the boundary line between
and Indiana, in Harrison village, a distance of six and two-thirds
all within Hamilton county, was constructed under the general law of
1, 1852, and amendments. On the first of May, 1866, the road of this
including the Harrison branch was leased
in perpetuity to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati (later called the Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Lafayette) railroad company. This company is also joint owner with the Little Miami company, of the Cincinnati Connection railway, a short line in the city, connecting tracks and depots of the two roads, each partner guaranteeing one-half of the bonds used in its construction. The Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Lafayette railroad property was sold to a committee of first-lien bondholders February 2, 1880, and a new organization formed March 6th following, under the name of the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago railroad company, to whom the road was formally transferred. It is since known in railroad circles as " Big Four."
This is a narrow-guage
(sic) line, running from Little Miami Junction, a mile northwest of
Anderson township, to Winchester, a distance of fifty-three and
hundredths miles. A branch of five miles reaches between Richmond
and Tobasco, making a total of fifty-eight and one-fourth miles
to the road. The company was organized January 11, 1876, and the road
to the present terminus in 1877. It is also proposed to build an
to Portsmouth, completing a line of one hundred and eighty miles. At
western end the tracks extend across the Little Miami railroad and the
south part of Columbia township, north of and near the city; but it has
not yet been able to enter the city on its own rails, and this part of
the line is consequently disused.
This railway, also
narrow-guage, (sic) at this writing (December, 1880) is laid between
where it joins the Little Miami road, and Amelia, in Clermont county, a
distance of twenty and four-tenths miles. It is graded and tied to
sixteen miles further. The company was organized January 15, 1873, and
the first division of the line was opened October 15, 1877.
road, to extend one hundred and fifty miles, from Cincinnati to Nelson.
The company was organized in 1878. About twenty miles of the road bed
been graded for some time, and a contract was let in October, 1880,
requires its completion by August 1, 1881. It is at present to connect
with the Cincinnati & Eastern at South Milford
Still another narrow-guage,
incorporated November 9, 1874, and begun in 1876, to run, by way of
and Lebanon to Waynesville, forty-one miles, there meeting a
road thence to Jeffersonville, on a coal road building eastwardly from
Dayton. Its progress was stopped by litigation with owners of city
along its route up Deer creek, when it was graded from Norwood to
but it is now in the hands of a new company called the Cincinnati
of which GENERAL JOHN M. CORSE, the hero of Altoona, is president, and
which is pushing the enterprise with great activity.
The line of this narrow-guage
reaches from Cincinnati, at Cumminsville, near Spring Grove cemetery,
Mount Pleasant, a distance of a little beyond six and one-half miles,
entirely within the county. The company was organized in 1875, and the
road opened to College Hill in May, 1876, and to its present terminus
Another little narrow-guage
road, built to accommodate the suburban residents, from its junction
the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad at Ernst Station, near
Garden in the city, to Robb' or Westwood, about five miles. It was
for business in March, 1876.
February 6, 1847, an act passed the general assembly for the incorporation of the Dayton, Lebanon & Deerfield railroad company, which was to construct a railway between these points, intersecting the Little Miami railroad at or near the last-named place, and so giving Dayton another route to Cincinnati. One year thereafter the scheme had changed form, from either necessity or choice, and an amendatory act accordingly changed the name of the corporation to the Dayton, Springborough, Lebanon, & Cincinnati railroad company, at the same time granting it powers to construct a railroad from Dayton to Cincinnati—no part of which, however, was to be built in the valley of the Little Miami below Gainesborough, Warren county. Still another act, a year after that, changed the name to the Dayton & Cincinnati railroad company, and gave it power to consolidate its interests with and take the name of any other railway company.
The first report of
the president and directors of this company appeared in 1852. They had
selected the terminal points in the two cities named, and directed
engineer, MR. ERASMUS GEST, to survey, as nearly as possible, a
air-line route between them. This necessarily involved the construction
of a tunnel through the ridge dividing the basin of Cincinnati from the
broad valley at the northward. MR. GEST in due time reported a line
from the designated terminus in Cincinnati at the intersection of
street and the Lebanon turnpike, along the west side of that road for
a mile, crossing it by a bridge, and Deer creek, a little beyond, by a
culvert, three-quarters of a mile further crossing the Walnut Hills
just below the former residence of PRESTLY KEMPER, where it would enter
the hill, pass it by a tunnel, and thence proceed near Bloody and Ross
runs and the Lebanon turnpike to Reading and Sharonville, and so on to
Dayton, which it would reach in fifty-two and one-half miles from
against the sixty and three-tenths covered already by the Cincinnati,
& Dayton railroad. It was, in fact, the inception of the present "
Short Line." MR. GEST' first report names a tunnel through the Walnut
of fifty-five hundred feet in length, on a rising grade of thirty-nine
and six-tenths feet per mile. The route and measurements were
modified, in consequence of a change in the Cin-
The work of excavating the tunnel was reported as comparatively easy, the indurated blue marl and limestone composing the hill being easily drilled and blasted, and making a roof impervious to water and so firm that excavation might proceed a considerable time and distance ahead of the arching, as was afterwards done. The original estimate of cost was eight thousand seven hundred dollars for right of way, including approaches and ground at the shafts, and four hundred and twelve thousand one hundred and seventy-eight dollars for the construction of the tunnel. This added to the remaining cost of the road, about two million dollars in all, was a formidable sum in those days; but means were secured, at first almost wholly by subscription, to make a hopeful beginning of the work. A contract for building the entire line, including the tunnel was let to MESSRS. FERREL & DUNHAM, December 10, 1852, and six days thereafter the work was begun. The next year they abandoned their contract for the work north of the tunnel which was re-let to MR. DANIEL BECKEL. By the first of March, 1854, two thousand eight hundred lineal feet of the tunnel and approaches had been excavated, and seven hundred and fifty feet entirely completed, with arches and side-walls. About two-sevenths of the work had been done. Eight points sere made for operating—one at each end, and one each way at each of the three shafts sunk from the surface of the hill. The work was thus in shape to be prosecuted very rapidly, had the means been forthcoming. It had been begun on shaft No. 2 December 16, 1852; on shaft No 2 and the north approach four days afterwards; on shaft No 3 February 15, 1853; and on the south approach April 10th, of the same year. Little difficulty was experienced from the influx of water, and none from noxious vapors. There was however, about the usual percentage of casualties in such works, from blasting and other causes, by which several persons lost their lives.
By March 1, 1855, the tunnel for three thousand three hundred and thirty-six feet, or one-third its length, had been completed, except the arching for one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two feet and the walling for five hundred and seventy-seven feet. The rest of the tunnel had been drifted or perforated for one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight lineal feet. The work had been, however, light for this year on the tunnel, and very little had been done on other parts of the line—nothing between the tunnel and the Cincinnati terminus. It had finally to be abandoned, for lack of means, after four hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars had been expended upon it; and the " Line' eventually found its way out of the city, to its route north of the dividing ridge, by the valley of Mill creek, thus losing some of the most important advantages which the tunnel would have secured for it.
The " Dayton & Cincinnati Short Line," legally so designated, was the reorganized old Dayton, Lebanon & Deerfield company. The change was made in 1871. The former was itself subsequently reorganized, January 21, 1872, as the Cincinnati Railway Tunnel company, to complete the old tunnel and run a road through it from the city north to Sharon, in Sycamore township, twelve and a half miles, here it will connect with the Cincinnati & Springfield, otherwise the " Short Line," or the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis. It has done nothing to speak of, however. In that year there was a decided revival of interest in the project, and it was then understood to be in the hands of projectors able and determined to prosecute it successfully. Said Mayor Davis, in his annual message, summarizing the transactions and plans of the year:
It is the purpose of the present managers of this scheme to make a new railroad entrance into this city that shall be controlled for the benefit of all railroad companies who may seek it, upon such affair and equitable principles as shall benefit all and give the control to none, and at the same time to afford the most favorable means for quick and cheap transit from our overcrowded city to that beautiful section of country that lies back of Walnut Hills.
At that time it was
included in the plans of contraction of the Kentucky & Great
railway company, to run from Newport along the Ohio to Catlettsburgh,
that its line should cross from Newport to Cincinnati by the railroad
then just completed, and go out of the city, to intersect the routes
north, northeast, and northwest, by a track through the Walnut Hills
Some work was accordingly done upon the bore in 1873-' but it had
to be again abandoned, and the scheme has since been held in quiet
That it will one day be pushed to completion, to the great advantage of
the railways that may use it, is among the reasonable certainties of
In 1875-'6 a short
line of road was built along Eggleston avenue to connect the railways
the city with the canal, elevator manufactories, and other places of
in the eastern part of the city, thus effecting a great reduction in
cost of terminal charges, as from drayage. A great railroad warehouse
also put up, from which regular warehouse receipts were issued.
Besides the railways
which actually traverse Hamilton county, there are others upon the soil
of Kentucky, but entering Cincinnati, or ending at Covington and
which may properly be considered as belonging to the Cincinnati system.
It is the existence of this city which determined their building in
direction; it was the wealth and enterprise of the city, mainly, which
built them; and by Cincinnati they are chiefly maintained. Foremost in
interest among those is that which, by the public subsidies voted it
the personal supervision given it, by the long agitation in behalf of
construction and the great local rejoicing at its completion, as well
the immeasurable benefits to be derived from its operation, is
The conception of this road, although the road itself is a realization of very recent years, is almost half a century old—nearly as old, indeed, as the steam railway in any country. The idea of some such connection with the South Atlantic had often occurred to the minds of foresighted citizens of Cincinnati; but it is not known to have been publicly presented until the summer of 1835, when it was broached by the well-known DR. Daniel DRAKE, to a meeting of business men held at the Commercial Exchange, on Front street to promote simply the construction of a railway form Cincinnati to Paris, Kentucky. He moved at that meeting the appointment of a committee of three, to inquire into the practicability and advantages of a railroad connecting the city with the seaboard at some point in South Carolina. (The project of a Cincinnati & Charleston railroad is presented with much force and enthusiasm in Mr. CIST' decennial volume on Cincinnati in 1841) The resolution was carried, and Dr. DRAKE, Thomas W. BAKEWELL and John W. WILLIAMS were nominated as the committee. They gathered material and digested it at leasure, (sic) and submitted an able report to another meeting, held in the city on the fifteenth of August, of the same year. It was supported in speeches by Mr. WILLIAMS and Mr. E. D. MANSFIELD. A standing committee of inquiry and correspondence was now appointed, consisting of General William H. HARRISON, Dr. DRAKE, Mr. MANSFIELD and Judge James HALL, of Cincinnati; General James TAYLOR, of Newport; Dr. John W. KING, of Covington; and George A. DUNN, of Lawrenceburg. Mr. MANSFIELD was made secretary of the committee. He prepared a pamphlet, entitled " from the banks of the Ohio to the tidewaters of the Carolinas and Georgia," accompanying it with a suitable map. An extensive correspondence was undertaken, information was widely spread, and the project was greatly prompted by the intelligent action of the committee. In August, 1836, Mr. MANSFIELD (to whose Personal Memories we are indebted for nearly all the material of this paragraph, published an article in the Western Monthly Magazine, a Cincinnati publication, advocating a railway from Cincinnati to Knoxville, Tennessee, and thence through East Tennessee and Alabama to Mobile. Meetings to similar intent were held about the same time in Cincinnati and in Paris, Kentucky; and on the fourth of that month a great " Convention: was held at Knoxville. It was attended by delegates from nine States—Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama—among whom Messrs. MANSFIELD and DRAKE, Governor VANCE, Alexander MCGREW, and Crafts J. WRIGHT represented Ohio; and General TAYLOR, M. M. BENTON and J. G. ARNOLD were present from Newport and Covington. Much controversy occurred at this meeting as to the proper termini in Ohio and the south—which was happily settled long after, as all the world knows, by Cincinnati herself at the north, and in the other direction by the convergence of lines upon Chattanooga—which was scarcely thought of in the earlier day, being then merely "' Landing of the Cherokees," so called from its neighborhood to the headquarters of the Cherokee chief, John Ross, in a village still called Rossville, which acquired peculiar renown in connection with the ill-starred battle of Chickamauga. Mr. MANSFIELD wrote an elaborate report of the Western Monthly; and there the project rested, substantially, for many years.
The present road was
built solely by the city of Cincinnati, in charge of a board of
created under an act of the legislature May 19, 1869. By successive
the city was authorized to issue its bonds to the total amount of
million dollars, of which the whole amount has actually been voted, and
estimates for the completion of the road remain, amounting to nearly
million dollars. In 1872 ten million dollars were voted, of which seven
million dollars bear seven per cent interest, the rest seventy-thirty;
in 1876 six million dollars—three million, one hundred and forty
two hundred dollars gold six per cents, and two million, eight hundred
and fifty thousand dollars seven-thirties; in 1878, two million dollars
seven per cents; and, as noted above, there is a prospect of further
upon the city for a large sum. Some of the grants were not obtained
great difficulty; and one vote, in 1876, for two million dollars, was
though by the meager majority of two hundred or less. Under another act
of the legislature, more hopeful and satisfactory in its terms it
a favorable vote the same year, by two thousand majority. The law had
be tested in the courts, however, and was sustained.
The construction of the road was begun December, 1873, and two-thirds of the heavy work was done by the close of 1875. July 23, 1877, it was open to Somerset, Kentucky, one hundred and fifty-eight and three-tenths miles, for passenger trains, and September 13th to freight trains, and was run to that point, under a license from the trustees, by an organization of citizens called the Cincinnati Southern railroad company. The rest of the line was opened December 9, 1879, to Bogie' Station, six miles from Chattanooga, whence it at present enjoys the facilities of another road for entering its virtual southern terminus at the latter place. May 23, 1879, the license of the other company having terminated; the line was leased to a private corporation known as the Cincinnati railroad company, by which it has since been opened.
The length of the route from Cincinnati to Chattanooga is three hundred and thirty-six miles, with seventeen and four-tenths miles of sidings. Much of it is laid with steel rails, and it is accounted in all respects one of the best constructed of American railways. Some of the finest triumphs of engineering achieved in any country are apparent upon its route. It passes forty-seven wrought iron bridges and viaducts, thirteen wooden bridges, twenty-seven tunnels, one of them four thousand seven hundred feet through, besides many deep cuts in the rock. Its completion after so many struggles, and at so much cost, furnished an occasion of great rejoicing to the people at both ends of and all along the line. The inaugural excursion of southern visitors, and the banquet, with its brilliant oratory and abounding good fellowship, formally celebrated the event in Cincinnati, March 18, 1800.
The contract for the Southern railway bridge, which stretches from the foot of Horne street to the Kentucky shore near Ludlow, west of Covington, was let in 1875. It was not completed, however, until after important divisions of the road were opened; and the Cincinnati travelers and shippers experienced great inconvenience for want of it. High water in the Ohio delayed its construction, and once swept away the trestle-work of the longest span; but in 1877 the bridge was completed and occupied. It is used solely for railroad business. There are also important bridges over the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.
It is an interesting
incident in the history of this enterprise that in 1866 MR. DAVID
the Cincinnati millionaire, offered to undertake the construction of a
railroad from the city to Chattanooga, if six million dollars were
to him as a bonus. The offer was not accepted, and an attempt was made
to raise a stock subscription for the road. It reached eight hundred
dollars, and there paused, as did the project. However, out of the
surveys made by interested parties about or soon after this time, and
consequent estimates that the road could be built for ten million
grew the pressure upon the legislature for authority to vote aid to the
road, and the subsequent votes which have saddled such an enormous debt
upon the city.
The main line of this
road extends from Covington to Lexington, ninety-nine miles, a branch
from Paris to Maysville bringing up the total to one hundred and
and one-half miles. The Covington & Lexington railroad company was
chartered in 1849, and the road opened in 1856. The section between
and Lexington was built by the Maysville & Lexington railroad
and opened in 1859. These roads were sold under foreclosure in 1865,
the purchasing bondholders organized under the title of the Kentucky
association. The Kentucky Central railroad company, their successors,
chartered March 20, 1875, and took possession May 1, 1875. The
& Lexington railway was transferred to this company November 17,
The total length of
lines owned, leased, and operated by this company is two hundred and
and nine hundredths miles. The main road stretches between Louisville
Lexington, and between the junction there and Newport. The main road
between Louisville and Lexington, and between the junction there and
The company owning this road was the result of a consolidation,
11, 1869, of the Louisville & Frankfort railroad company, chartered
March 1, 1847, completed September 3, 1851, and the Lexington &
railroad company, chartered February 28, 1848, and finished March 19,
For ten years before consolidation they were operated under the same
dividing the net earnings in proportion to length of time. The
Short Line railroad was built by the two companies jointly. They
the title of Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington railroad company,
issued joint mortgage bonds secured on all these properties. The line
opened July 1, 1869. The leased lines are the Louisville Railway
the Elizabethtown, Lexington & Big Sandy railroad, and the Shelby
The Newport and Cincinnati bridge is used under the joint guarantee of
this company, and the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis railway
The company became involved in financial difficulties, and the property
was sold October 1, 1877, to its present owners.
The line of this road
lies between Covington, Kentucky, and Pound Gap, Virginia, a distance
two hundred and fifty miles. It was opened to Flemingsburgh in 1877,
to Hillsborough, eighteen miles from Johnson, in 1878. This short line
from Johnson to Hillsborough is all that was recently in operation. In
1879 the name was changed to Licking Valley railroad. Its construction
is still in progress.
A number of important
railways traverse the city and county with their trains of cars, and
the city of Cincinnati, but upon the tracks of other roads, which they
have leased or otherwise secured the right to use. Among these are the
Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis, to which we have
some special notice; the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis; the
A number or foreign roads, whose track or whose trains, in some instances, have small chance of ever reaching Cincinnati, have borrowed its imposing name to incorporate with their titles, by reason by the prestige they would receive from it, or because, at the time of the organization of their companies, there was some hope that they would actually enter the Queen City. Such are the Cincinnati, Lafayette & Chicago; the Cincinnati, Rockport & Southwestern; the Cincinnati, Richmond & Fort Wayne; the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland; the Columbus Springfield & Cincinnati; the Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville; the East Alabama & Cincinnati; and the Cincinnati, Cumberland Gap & Charleston railroads. The last two are quite remarkable instances. Both are mere local roads, the one operating but forty miles, and those in Tennessee, the other but twenty-seven and a half, and in Alabama. Both are hopelessly bankrupt, and struggling almost from the beginning to maintain an existence. Neither has the smallest likelihood, in all probability, of making Cincinnati a terminus—if, indeed, such hope was ever entertained by their projectors.
Added to these may
be a number of railroads now dead and gone, as far as the old names are
concerned, their corporate existence having been lost, merged in that
other companies. There is a pretty long list of these, showing how
the name of Cincinnati has been thought to be by the railway managers
builders. Such were the Cincinnati & Indianapolis Junction; the
& Chicago Air Line; the Cincinnati & Martinsville; the
& Southwestern; the Cincinnati and Zanesville; the Cincinnati,
& Williamsburg; the Cincinnati, Dayton & Eastern; the
Lexington & East Tennessee; the Cincinnati, Logansport &
the Cincinnati, Pennsylvania & Chicago; the Cincinnati, Huron &
Fort Wayne; the Cincinnati & Whitewater Valley; the Cincinnati,
& Zanesville; the Dayton & Cincinnati; the Pittsburgh, Columbus
& Cincinnati; the Hillsborough & Cincinnati; the Indianapolis
Cincinnati; the Jackson, Fort Wayne & Cincinnati; the Louisville,
& Charleston; the Sandusky & Cincinnati; and the Sandusky,
& Cincinnati. Requiescat in pace.
Some of the Hamilton
county railroads incorporated of late years are: The Cincinnati &
Northeastern, termini at Cincinnati and Columbus, capital stock five
thousand dollars, date of filing certificate in secretary of State'
January 30, 1878; the Cincinnati & Hamilton Narrow Guage, capital
five hundred thousand dollars, date of filing certificate May 21, 1878;
Cincinnati Surburban(sic) Steam railway, wholly in Hamilton county,
at Cincinnati and Madisonville, capital stock three hundred thousand
22, 1878; Cincinnati & Walnut Hills railway, further terminus at
Warren county, capital stock one hundred and fifty thousand
31, 1878; Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Eastern narrow-guage, further
at a point opposite Huntington, West Virginia, capital stock five
thousand dollars—February 24, 1879; Cincinnati & New Richmond,
stock one hundred thousand dollars –October 20, 1879; and the
Walnut Hills, Avondale & Union Village, capital stock one hundred
dollars –July, 1880
The Little Miami railroad
received aid from the city, as a municipality, to the amount of one
thousand dollars, in 1844, to defray in part the expense of its
The Ohio & Mississippi had six hundred and sixty thousand dollars
the same source—half the sum in 1842 and the remainder in 1853. Under
ordinance of the city council, of date July 3, 1850, bonds were issued
April 1, 1851, to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars; to aid
construction of the Cincinnati & Hillsborough railroad. In 1850-1
sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in bonded indebtedness
voted to the Eaton & Hamilton railroad; in 1851, one hundred
dollars to the Covington & Lexington road; in 1854, one hundred and
fifty thousand dollars to the Marietta & Cincinnati; and, at sundry
times during the past few years, the enormous aggregate sum of eighteen
million dollars to the Cincinnati Southern. One and a half millions
voted under the Boesel railroad law to aid a line projected eastwardly
along the Ohio, but the act was declared unconstitutional by the
court of the State; and the bonds, after some further litigation, were
recovered from the State office in which they had been deposited. The
of the Cincinnati railroads, we believe, have been built without
aid from the city.
©2003 by Tina Hursh & Linda Boorom