Railroads - Abandoned


A list of abandoned railroads in the United States.

Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad: Spring Grove Industrial Track (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Baltimore & Ohio 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.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Pickens, West Virginia

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad

Pickens Branch

The Pickens Branch extended from Weston, West Virginia to Pickens, a distance of 49.3 miles.

Location: Weston to Pickens, West Virginia
Status: Abandoned

Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad

Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad

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

Location: Powell and Menifee counties, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

Brimstone and New River Railroad

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).

Location: New River to Lone Mountain, Tennessee
Status: Out of Service

Barnesville Tunnel

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.

Location: Columbus to Bellaire, Ohio
Status: Active / Abandoned

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Dawkins Subdivision

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.

Location: Dawkins to Evanston, Kentucky
Status: Rail to Trail

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Greenbrier Division

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad

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.

Location: Whitcomb to Winterburn, West Virginia
Status: Active / Rail to Trail

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Hawks Nest Subdivision

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad

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.

Location: Ansted to Hawks Nest, West Virginia
Status: Rail to Trail

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Middle Creek Subdivision

Chesapeake & Ohio 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.

Location: Prestonsburg to David, Kentucky
Status: Out of Service

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Spur

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad

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.

Location: Piketon, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

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.

Location: Stokesville to Elkton, Virginia
Status: Active/Abandoned

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.

Status: Active / Abandoned

Cincinnati and Eastern Railroad

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.

Location: Norwood to Portsmouth, Ohio
Status: Active/Out of Service

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.

Location: Morrow to Trinway, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Cincinnati & Westwood Railroad

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.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

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.

Location: Sedalia to Kingman, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Cincinnati, Georgetown and Portsmouth Railroad

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.

Location: Cincinnati to Russellville, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Tunnel No. 2 at Hoadley.

Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad

The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad (CH&D) is a former railroad that between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio via Hamilton, with a branch that extended into the coalfields of Jackson County.

Location: Cincinnati to Dayton to Ironton, Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned

Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg & Aurora Railroad

Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway

Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway

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

Location: Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio
Status: Active/Rail to Trail/Abandoned


Cincinnati Southern Railway

The Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP) is a railroad that runs from Cincinnati, Ohio south to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The railroad it operates, the Cincinnati Southern Railway, was constructed to Chattanooga and is owned by the city of Cincinnati and leased to the CNO&TP under a long-term agreement. Norfolk Southern is the operator of the CNO&TP.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio to Chattanooga, Tennessee
Status: Active with portions bypassed

Cincinnati Street Connecting Railway

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.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad

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.

Location: East Cairo to Paducah, Kentucky
Status: Active/Abandoned

Newcomerstown Tunnel

Cleveland & Marietta Railway

The Cleveland & Marietta Railway is a former railroad between Marietta to Dover and Harmer Connection in southeast Ohio.

Location: Marietta to Dover, Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned

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.

Location: Charleston to Elkins, West Virginia
Status: Active/Abandoned

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.

Location: Cincinnati to Mt. Healthy, Ohio
Status: Abandoned

Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway

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 and Ironton Railroad

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.

Location: Detroit, Michigan to Ironton, Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned

Argillite Tunnel No. 3

Eastern Kentucky Railway

The Eastern Kentucky Railway (EK) is a former 36-mile railroad between Riverton (Greenup) and Webbville, Kentucky. Serving several mines and early pig iron blast furnaces, the EK was abandoned in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression.

Location: Riverton/Greenup to Webbville, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

Flemingsburg and Northern Railroad

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.

Location: Flemingsburg Junction to Flemingsburg, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

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.

Location: Southeast Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned

Kentucky Union Railway

Kentucky Union Railway

The Kentucky Union Railway is a firner 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.

Location: Lexington to Jackson, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad

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

Little Miami Railroad

The Little Miami Railroad (LMRR) is a defunct railroad connecting Cincinnati, Ohio to Xenia. The LMRR was the second chartered railroad in the state, after the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad Company. The LMRR was chartered on March 11, 1836 to construct a line from the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad in Springfield to the Ohio River in Cincinnati.

Location: Cincinnati to Springfield, Ohio
Status: Rail to Trail

Louisville & Nashville Railroad

Lebanon Branch

Status: Abandoned

Louisville & Nashville Railroad

Richmond to Lancaster Branch

Location: Richmond to Lancaster, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

Madison, Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad

Madison, Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad

The Madison, Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad (MI&L) is the state’s first railroad, dating to 1836, when state legislators included it as part of the Internal Improvement Act. Two notable segments are abandoned today.

Status: Active/Abandoned

Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad

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.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio to Parkersburg, West Virginia
Status: Active/Abandoned

New River, Holston and Western Railroad

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.

Location: Narrows to Suiter, Virginia
Status: Abandoned

Nicholas, Fayette & 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.

Location: Central West Virginia
Status: Active/Abandoned/Rail to Trail

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.

Location: Elkhorn, West Virginia to Coal Grove, Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned/Roadway

Ohio and Kentucky Railway

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.

Location: Jackson to Licking River, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

Oneida and Western Railroad

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.

Location: Jamestown to Oneida, Tennessee
Status: Abandoned

Tunnel No. 6

Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad

The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, commonly referred to as the Panhandle Route, was a railroad that was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system. It connected Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Bradford, Ohio where the line split into a northern line to Chicago, Illinois and a southern one to Indianapolis, Indiana and East St. Louis, Illinois.

Location: Chicago, Illinois/East St. Louis, Illinois to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Status: Active/Abandoned

Richmond, Nicholasville, Irvine and Beattyville Railroad

Richmond, Nicholasville, Irvine & Beattyville Railroad

The Richmond, Nicholasville, Irvine & Beattyville Railroad (RNI&B, Riney-B) is a former railroad between Frankfort and Beattyville, Kentucky. In its original form, the RNI&B extended from Versailles and 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 the RNI&B a total of 110 miles.

Location: Frankfort to Airedale, Kentucky
Status: Abandoned

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.


Tracks through Adena

Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway

The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway (W&LE) is a Class I railroad that operates mostly within Ohio. Throughout its long history, it has been a part of the NIckel Plate, Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern. In 1989, the original W&LE was dissolved as a corporate entity only to be renewed as the the W&LE in 1990 by a group of investors, acquiring most of the original W&LE routes from Norfolk Southern.

Location: Ohio
Status: Active/Out-of-Service/Abandoned

Wheeling Terminal Railway

Wheeling Terminal Railway

The Wheeling Terminal Railway is a former 9½ mile railroad between Martins Ferry, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.

Location: West Virginia
Status: Abandoned

Zanesville & Western Railroad

Zanesville & Western Railroad

The Zanesville & Western Railroad (Z&W) was a railroad that extended throughout southeastern Ohio, connecting Columbus to many of the coal and clay mines and their respective power plants and factories.

Location: Ohio
Status: Active/Abandoned


  1. Have you ever heard of The Lake Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad? Check website "Ohio Railroad Page". Thanks. Please leave opinions/feedback.

  2. Anyone out here ever hear of RattleSnake and Ramsey, aka, The Lorain, Ashland & Southern? Began 1906, from Lorain to Wellington, Ohio, as direct competition to Wheeling and Lake Erie project, Lorain & West Virginia. L,A,&S sat unused from 1906 to 1915, when half interest sold to each Pennsylvania, & Erie railroads. Continued from Wellington to Ashland,Ohio where connection to exsisting railroad was made, resulting in L,A,& S. Operated sum total of ten years, being abandoned in 1915. Sat unused for remaining years between 1915 and 1942, when rails were torn up for war effort. Much of old grade remains, including ties and some spikes, remains of concrete bridge where railroad crossed Black River, north of Wellington, right beside L&WV crossing of same river. Publication of history of railroad available, with book entitled same as above. Good Reading! Thanks, John Thompson

  3. Correction to LA&S. Railroad operated till 1925, not 1915, before being abandoned. Removed 1942. Remains still can be seen all along route from west end of steel plant in Lorain to "Custaloga", more a spot on the map as an actual location, which is just east of Big Prarie, Ohio

  4. I once worked at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant from 1974 until 1986, and have seen photos of the first converters that were delivered to the plant on flatcars, being pulled by C&O GP-9's. At the time the converters were some of the most classified pieces of equipment in the U.S., and they arrived under tarps and the guns of armed guards.

    I wasn't aware the tracks had been removed, but then I haven't been around the plant for over 20 years or more.

    Regards! Mark

  5. John ,

    I grew up about a mile east of Custaloga Junction (Rattlesnake Junction) on SR226.Nancy Davenport said that her grandmother used to walk to Shreve from Big Prairie and stop at the water tower to get something to drink at Custaloga .The junction was approximately behind Lee Otto's property starting on the north side of the todays Norfolk southern track that runs through Big Prairie and Shreve.The junction sat on land that was owned by Willis Horst (todays time period),but his son in law works the land and runs the farm.Some of the railroad bed can also be seen off of Mc Fadden road bordering the west side of Reull (Ed) Foote's property.I heard that the reason it was called Rattlesnake Junction,was because of the swamp rattlers in the area. Was it true I don't know.



  6. Need to Check out the old C&O Lexington Subdivision between Lexington and Ashland, KY

  7. I would love for you to look at both the LA&S / Custaloga – Rattlesnake Junction and Cleveland, Wooster and Muskingum Valley Railroad which runs just to the east. Areas that once sat on the CW&M include Hard, Branstetter and Kauke. Kauke of course has ties to College of Wooster.

  8. Nothing on the West Virginia Midland narrow gauge? I’m disappointed.

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