Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley Railroad

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

The Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley Railroad was incorporated in 1851 and was completed from Morrow to Zanesville by 1856. 1 It was foreclosed in 1863 and reorganized as the Cincinnati & Zanesville (C&Z). In 1870, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took control over the C&Z and extended the line to Trinway. By 1905, there were five daily passenger trains to and from Zanesville along the C&Z.

In 1911, the C&Z was consolidated into the Cleveland, Akron & Cincinnati Railroad (CA&C), becoming a part of the PRR’s Zanesville Division. In 1924, the Zanesville Division was absorbed by PRR’s Cincinnati Division, which consolidated into the Pittsburgh, Ohio & Detroit Railroad in 1925. 1 In 1928, the Morrow to Twinway segment was ceded to PRR’s Panhandle Division.

By 1968, the C&Z had separated into the Morrow Branch, Zanesville Branch, and Twinway Branch of PRR’s Central Columbus Division. 1 The line west of Wilmington was dismantled in 1976 when the connecting line, the Little Miami Railroad, part of the PRR’s Cincinnati & Xenia Branch, was abandoned.



  1. Tipton, Rick. “The PRR in Cincinnati.” The Pennsylvania Railroad in Cincinnati. By Rick Tipton and Chuck Blardone. Altoona: Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society, 2004. 3-103.


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I walked the line between Clarksville Ohio and Morrow, down along Todds Fork. Spent many happy times down there in my youth. I remember once my cousin and I seriously thought about shoving an old handcar on the tracks and going for a ride, but we were afraid a train would come by. There was a trestle down there where we fished, and my cousin once hid on the stone pilings while it went over head. Other kids would dive off the piling into a deep hole there. I found an old RR date pin, “38”, along the tracks. Picking blackberries and strawberries along the tracks, using them as a highway to find another fishing hole. That was in the late 60’s up until 77 when I left home.

About 3/4 mile of the line in Lancaster has been paved and is part of a bike path. It runs from the Boving Road overpass east to just before the Memorial Drive overpass. Another section through Amanda is also a bike/hike trail. Amanda is between Lancaster & Circleville.

I lived beside the Zanesville Branch in Morrow as a youngster during the 1947 – 50 time period. I am interested in modeling the branch but do not have any pictures of the locomotives used at the time. Would be interested in any information on the type of steam engines used on this branch during this time period. Thanks

If you model the branch, remember that there was a diamond in Sabina Ohio where the PRR crossed the B&O as they ran parallel to each other between Washington Courthouse and Wilmington, but sadly PRR pulled their trackage parallel trackage opting for trackage rights over the B&O between Washington Courthouse and Wilmington.

As a trivia tidbit- a gentleman kept a track speeder (former C&O) at Delmont just west of the SR159 crossing. He would run up and down the track a little ways now and then. That party ended when the rails came up.

Nice work on the history of the CM&V. Just a couple of corrections. The two shots at Melvin are actually of the former B&O line. The Pennsy was on the north side of the B&O from Wilmington to Sabina where they crossed one another and flipped sides. to Washington Court House. The PRR at some point in the mid to late 1960s before the Penn Central merger secured trackage rights over the B&O from Wilmington to Washington CH. The tower for the Sabina diamond was moved to just west of town alongside of US 22- very poor condition now as part of a barn. The former PRR was removed not soon afterwards with the remaining PRR customer tracks tied into the B&O line. Sabina Farmers Exchange in Sabina is the last active former PRR customer between Wilmington and Wash CH. There are a couple tracks still in somewhat use in Wash CH- both former interchange tracks to the B&O lines. There are also a few disconnected customer spurs between Wilmington and Wash CH- Starbuck Rd just east of Wilmington, the old Melvin Grain spur buried in the mud at Melvin and Carter Lumber just west of Wash CH.

The B&O purchased the Wilmington to Clarksville section of the CM&V shortly after April 1976. The line became the Clarksville Sub and was operated once a week or so by one of the Wash CH Dist locals from Wash CH to serve the pipe company in Clarksville. The line was in horrible shape and had a 8 mph speed limit. Frequent derailments and low revenue from the line and the desire by the B&O to abandon the line led to the state building a transload spur at Cuba on the B&O line in late 1981. The last trip to Clarksville was actually cut short when the loco derailed just outside of Wilmington, The decision was made to transload the 2 waiting loaded gondolas at Clarksville and scrap the cars along with the line.

As for the Washington CH customers, the B&O and DT&I were both granted access to them. The DT&I switched a customer a couple of times before giving the B&O the business. The B&O ended up with 5 PRR customers in Wash CH: Pennington Bread, Red Rose Grain Co, Landmark, Midland Grocery and Washington Lumber. All of which have since gone out of business- though part of the Pennington Bread and Landmark tracks are still in place and used for storage.

There's one last active customer in Circleville. Circleville Ag Products receives tank cars of liquid fertilizer and covered hoppers of potash from time to time. Hanson has never received any cars in the 19 plus years that I've been driving around the area. There was a feed mill at the Clinton St crossing that received inbound covered hoppers up through the late 1990s. The mill complex caught on fire a couple of years ago was recently torn down. I'm glad you took a photo of the tracks still in place under US 23. I was told they were still in place to the Scioto River.

There's 4 or so miles still active in Lancaster on the I&O. The tracks end just on the east end of town at the Ralston Cereal plant. Ralston owns the trackage around the plant and seems to do a decent amount of inbound business. Ohioxide is about a mile west of Ralston and receives inbound boxcars of lead ingots- maybe 15 to 20 cars a month (received 5 cars this past Friday). A new transload spur is being build on the old Anchor Hocking Plant #2 track. The Lancaster Port Authority is developing the site for a Bremen company to transload inbound steel and ship outbound products- possibly a couple hundred cars from the new traffic.

The Ohio Central rebuild the New Lexington to Trinway section back in 2000 for coal traffic.

Though abandoned, the line wasn't removed until the summer of 1981 from Morrow to Bremen

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