Grimms Bridge Tunnel

Railroad / Ohio

Grimms Bridge Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel along the Youngstown & Southern Railroad Smith’s Ferry Branch in eastern Ohio.


Pittsburgh Coal constructed the 1,200-foot tunnel at Grimms Bridge circa 1932, 4 and the concrete-lined tunnel was built by the Booth & Glinn Company of Pittsburgh. It also included a railroad trestle over Beeler’s Run near Fredericktown that was erected by the McClintock-Marshall Contracting Company of Pittsburgh.

Operation of the Smith’s Ferry Branch began in mid-1936 with 50 to 60 carloads daily. 3

Active service continued on the Smith’s Ferry Branch until 1967 when a landslide filled the south portal of the Grimms Bridge Tunnel. 2 The landslide originated from a strip mine that had been operated by the Tassi Coal Company, which had gone bankrupt. Due to the finances of the line’s owner, the tunnel remained partly buried.

The Y&S sought federal permission to abandon all but the northernmost mile of the Smith’s Ferry Branch on April 26, 1977. The motion was not granted. In 1995, the Y&S filed to abandon 12 miles of the Smith’s Ferry Branch, and all but the northernmost mile 5 at Negley was removed in 1996.

The tunnel is slated to be renovated for use as part of the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway, a 110-mile rail-to-trail from Pittsburgh to Ashtabula, Ohio. 6


Sources

  1. “Track Abandonment Set.” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 26 Apr. 1977, p. 1.
  2. “Beaver Creek Railroad?” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 24 Apr. 1970, pp. 1, 10.
  3. “Rival Carriers Fight Montour in High Court.” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 8 Aug. 1936, pp. 1-2.
  4. “Montour May Run Trains on Road in Fall.” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 18 Aug. 1933, p. 1.
  5. United States Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation Board. STB Finance Docket. 33385. 24 Apr. 1997, article.
  6. Ohio River Trail Council. Report no. 201506308989, article.