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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Early Railways Of The Warren County Area

Dallas Bogan on 28 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

The Franklin, Springboro & Wilmington Railway

On January 25, 1832, a corporation was authorized by the Legislature for a railroad into the Miami Valley. It was to be the Franklin, Springboro & Wilmington Railway, and was to run from Franklin, on the Miami Canal, through Springboro to Wilmington. This railway never materialized.
Another railroad was incorporated February 11, 1832, which was the first proposed track to extend from outside the county into the valley. Its route was to extend from Chillicothe through Leesburg and Wilmington to Lebanon. This too proved a failure.

The Columbus, Washington & Cincinnati Railroad

The Columbus, Washington & Cincinnati Railroad Company was a part of the narrow gauge system. It was incorporated December 9, 1875, as the Waynesville, Port William & Jeffersonville Railroad. It was to run between the towns of its corporate names.
By an amendment of November 27, 1875, the route was extended east to Washington Court House and the name changed to Columbus, Washington & Cincinnati Railroad. It was supposed to connect Columbus to Cincinnati, but for many reasons, it never did.
A contract was awarded to George Potts & Co. of New York to build the Waynesville-Jeffersonville segment for $5,000 per mile.
Grading began on June 7 at Allentown on the Dayton and Southeastern, and by the end of the year it had reached Glenwood, a distance of 18 miles.
The line continued on for a distance of 20 miles through Kingman and on to New Burlington in Clinton/Greene Counties. This portion was possibly completed early in 1878. The line was appropriately nicknamed "The Grasshopper," because of its dreadfully slow speed.
The company then took possession of track rights on the D&SE from Allentown to Washington Court House, a distance of 11 miles.
Financial difficulties were encountered at this time and no further building to the east or the west was done.
John E. Gimperling, of the D&SE, accepted receivership of the line on September 9, 1878. It was sold on August 6, 1879, to its creditors, and was later resold for reorganization on February 15, 1881.
Gimperling was the head of the new corporation, the Cincinnati, Columbus & Hocking Railway. The intention of this railway was to extend a standard gauge railroad from Cincinnati to the Hocking Valley coalfields.
He quickly converted the railroad and extended it both east through Jamestown to Jeffersonville, and west to Clayville Junction (Roxanna in Greene County) on the Little Miami Railroad. (A portion of this railway ran through Warren County just south of the Roxanna-New Burlington Road. The railroad bed is still visible in some areas.)
It was opened as a standard gauge carrier on May 16, 1882. Conversion from narrow gauge (three feet) to standard gauge (4 ft. 8 1/2 in.) was of little help. The railroad was again placed in receivership on February 16, 1884. It was sold, first to Francis A. Riddle of Chicago in 1885, and then to Jacob B. Custer on May 1, 1886.
The line operated sporadically since early 1885, but Custer shut it down in July 1887 and discarded it. The Ohio Southern bought the right-of-way and used it in building its Kingman branch in 1894 and 1895.
This branch was eliminated by the successor, Detroit, Toledo & Ironton in 1932 and 1933.

The Cincinnati & Springfield Railroad (The Big Four/New York Central)

The Cincinnati and Springfield Railroad, or the Big Four Railroad (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis), later to become the New York Central, was projected in 1870, completing a line from eastern cities to Cincinnati.
The road from Dayton to Middletown was built along the Miami/Erie Canal, passing through Franklin. It was operated by the Big Four or Vanderbilt Company, and had an almost unlimited passenger and freight business.

The Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad

The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad was the second railroad to enter Cincinnati, the Little Miami being the first. This was also the first railroad to enter Franklin Township, Warren County, Ohio.
The company was chartered March 2, 1846, assuming the name of the "Cincinnati & Hamilton Railroad Company." It's name was later changed to the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad by an act passed February 8, 1847.
It ran over a three-mile course through Carlisle Station located in the northwestern portion of the county. The first excursion train ran over the road from Cincinnati to Hamilton September 13, 1851. Trains began running regularly between Cincinnati and Dayton on September 22, 1851.
In 1917, the Baltimore & Ohio purchased the C H & D Railway. Later it merged with the Chesapeake and Ohio. In 1980, both trains from the Chessie System and the B & O were running through Carlisle.

The Mackinaw/Cincinnati Northern

The Mackinaw Railroad was the second railroad to enter Franklin. Its northern destination was different points located in Michigan.
Heading south from Michigan, it paralleled the Indiana line, the distance being about fifteen miles on the Ohio side as far as Darke County.
The fall of 1886 saw this road completed to the river at Franklin, and the following spring saw the crossing of the Great Miami.
Entrance into Cincinnati from Franklin was by using the Big Four, M. & C., and C. L. & N. tracks. The Big Four later secured complete control of the road.
Later, the C. J. & M. (Cincinnati, Jackson & Mackinaw) became the Cincinnati Northern, which in turn became the New York Central. Construction of the Mackinaw Railroad across the river from Franklin appeared at the time to be a boon to the building trade. Land purchased from L.G. Anderson was subdivided and improved. With the lots platted it indicated for a time that this section would rival the present site of Franklin.
However, many of the lots were never improved and the section stood at a standstill. Many of the homes that were built on the improved section were selected as the "Mackinaw Historical District."

The Middletown and Cincinnati Railroad

The Middletown & Cincinnati Railroad was completed from Middletown to a point on the Pennsylvania Railroad near Kings Mills about 1890. It was known as Middletown Junction, and ran for a distance of 14 miles.
Hon. Paul J. Sorg, and other Middletown manufacturers, for the purpose of connecting with the Pennsylvania lines, built it. The motive was to insure better shipping facilities. It was purchased from the Sorg heirs, in 1902, by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and became a part of the Cincinnati, Lebanon, & Northern.

The Southern Ohio Company

The Southern Ohio Company projected a line, in 1894, from a point in Fayette County to Cincinnati, by way of Harveysburg and Lebanon. The grading was completed to Harveysburg, but when track-laying had progressed to Kingman, located about five miles east of Harveysburg, the company experienced financial problems and passed into the hands of a receiver, the road never being completed.

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This page created 28 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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