Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad

The Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (DT&I) is a former railroad that connected Ironton, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan. Significant portions of the line are abandoned.


Iron Railroad

The Iron Railroad was incorporated on February 11, 1848 4 / March 7, 1849 3 15 29 / March 17, 1849, 28 with a capital of $500,000, 28 proposing to connect Lawrence County to coal, charcoal, and timber reserves. 3 The line would run from Upper Township in Lawrence County, along the Ohio River, to the southern line of Jackson County, with a possible extension to the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad at Hamden Junction. On April 9, the southern terminus was fixed, and the town of Ironton was founded.

The first president, James O. Willard, supervised the work on the Iron Railroad, which was built by the owners of the charcoal furnaces it was intended to serve. 28 As the same individuals who laid out Ironton organized and built the line, and as it was expected that the town enterprise would be more profitable than the railroad enterprise, each stockholder in the town company was required to take twice as much stock in the railroad company as in the town company. The town company proved profitable, while the railroad company only paid two cash dividends in 30 years.

By 1850, the Iron Railroad consisted of six miles of broad gauge line from the Ohio River to the southern portal of the unfinished Vesuvius Tunnel (later named Royersville Tunnel). 3 The line used timber cross ties and stringers that held tight scrap rails from the Little Miami Railroad. 14 15 The 956-foot Vesuvius Tunnel (Royersville Tunnel) opened to traffic in December 1851. 3 26 28

The locomotives used on the first trains were brought to Ironton via steamboats along the Ohio River. 3 15 The locomotives were named after Lawrence County’s “Iron Masters,” including John Campbell, Thomas W. Means, John Ellison, Charles R. Batt, John Means, and others. 26

In 1862, 16 the original Stearns Creek trestle north of Ironton was replaced with a stronger 97-foot wrought iron bowstring truss using a design patented by W.H. Moseley in 1857 and manufactured in Cincinnati. 4 14 It remained in service until 1924, when it was removed and placed on exhibition in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Iron Railroad was eventually expanded north to Center Furnace, 13 miles north of the Ohio River. However, no further construction was attempted due to a lack of funds to construct a tunnel through Periscope Ridge to connect to the Belpre & Cincinnati Railroad (later Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad (M&C)). 3

During the 1870s and 1880s, various spurs were built to serve quarries, coal mines, and iron furnaces, extending the Iron Railroad to 18.35 miles. 3 Early stations included LaGrange Furnace (mile 3), Vesuvius Furnace (mile 6), Pine Grove Furnace/Royersville (mile 7), Etna Furnace/Etna Station/Pedro (mile 8½), Lawrence Furnace/Lisman Junction/Bartles Station (mile 10), and Center Furnace/Superior (mile 13).

On October 21, 1881, the Iron Railroad merged with the Toledo, Delphos & Burlington Railroad (TD&B). 3 15 The TD&B then merged with its subsidiary, the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad (TC&StL), in 1882. The narrow-gauge rails of the TC&StL were placed within the broad-gauge Iron Railroad between Dean, Bartles, and Ironton, allowing the TD&B to operate its trains between Wellston and Ironton. (The TC&StL from Dean and Wellston was abandoned by its ultimate successor, the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway, after severe flooding in 1916.) The Cincinnati Northern Railway was consolidated with the TC&StL on May 5, 1883, giving the company control of 783 miles of track from Ironton to Delphos, Michigan, Toledo to St. Louis, and Cincinnati to Lebanon Junction. 3

However, as other railroads in the Midwest were standard gauge, the transfer of freight at connections resulted in delays, smaller capacity of cars, and financial problems. As a result, the TC&StL went into receivership on June 28, 1884. 4 On July 23, the Iron Rail Company (Iron Railway), which included the original Iron Railroad from Ironton to Pedro, was organized and remained independent until it was acquired by Detroit Southern on September 25, 1902.

Ohio River Barge

The Iron Railway and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) interchanged in Ashland, Kentucky, via a river barge on the Ohio River. 24 This barge began operating on March 19, 1892. The C&O provided a steam towboat and a barge on the Kentucky shore, while the Iron Railway provided identical facilities near Sarah Furnace on the Ohio shore.

In February 1904, the cost of operating the towboat “Bob Ballard” was split between the Detroit Southern (successor to the Iron Railroad), the Norfolk & Western Railroad, and the C&O. The Ironton & Ashland Transfer Company operated the towboat at a cost of $30 per day. In 1909, the towboat operator was changed to the Kanawha & Ohio Transfer Company because it was cheaper. 24

All barge service was terminated in 1917 when the C&O connected to the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (successor to the Iron Railway) at Gregg, Ohio. 24 The tracks leading to the ferry were removed in 1926.

Springfield, Jackson & Pomeroy Railroad

The Springfield, Jackson & Pomeroy Railroad (SJ&P) was chartered on December 17, 1874, and incorporated in March 1875. 3 4 6 7 8 15 28 30 Its goal was to connect Springfield to the coal mines and vast timber tracts in the southeast part of the state. The SJ&P was formed due to the disappointments of the proposed Dayton & Southeastern Railroad (D&SE) between Dayton and Jackson, which would have avoided some hillier grades on the D&SE and connected to additional towns. 4

After raising $800,000, 4 a construction contract was let for the Springfield to Jackson segment in October 1875, 7 8 31 and work began from Jackson on December 7 and Springfield on March 26, 1876. 4 By May 1877, the SJ&P was finished between Jackson and Waverly, 7 and a 12-mile segment from Springfield to South Charleston opened later in the year. 8 The SJ&P operated two unconnected segments until the last spike was driven on July 18 at Dills east of Bainbridge, completing the line from Springfield to Jackson. 4 On August 3, the entire 108¾-mile SJ&P mainline from Springfield and Jackson was completed. 8 15

To satisfy creditors, the SJ&P was sold to Samuel Thomas on October 11. 4 8 Thomas then conveyed the loan on November 3 to Oliver S. Kelly, 3 who deeded the line on December 15 to a new company, the Springfield Southern Railroad. 8 31 This new company proposed to construct a line between Springfield and a point along the Ohio River at Rockwood (Chesapeake), opposite Huntington, West Virginia. 3 7 9 At the time, Huntington was the western terminus of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. 3 7

The SJ&P was originally built to narrow gauge 8 but was converted to standard gauge by the Springfield Southern in 1879. 4 31

Ohio Southern

On May 23, 1881, the Springfield Southern was reorganized by banking interests as the Ohio Southern Railroad (OS). 3 10 15 The company’s first action was to finish the Wellston Branch which had been finished from Jackson to Eurekaville (Coalton) and graded to Wellston by the SJ&P. 10 The branch was fully completed from Jackson to Wellston in July 1881. 3 10

The Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railway (IB&W) leased the OS to act as a connector between Indianapolis, Springfield, and the C&O at a point west of Huntington. Although the IB&W reached Springfield, it never connected to the C&O. 4 In April 1892, the IB&W relinquished control of the OS.

Subsequently, the OS began constructing a 68-mile extension from Springfield north to Lima in December 1892. 4 10 This extension was opened on December 28, 1893. 3 10 The OS also finished work on three branches to serve coal mines near Wellston in May 1893. The OS then completed the Cornelia Branch, a 9½-mile extension of the Wellston Branch in the spring of 1894. It included the Lincoln Branch and Hanging Rock Branch to service various mines. 1 3 10 In September of the same year, the OS was approved to have three more branches to coal mines near Glen Roy and Cornelia. 10

Elsewhere, the Ohio Southern completed work on the Springfield to Lima segment in December 1893. 3 10 14

Wellston Branch

The SJ&P completed the Wellston Branch between Jackson and Eurekaville (Coalton) by June 1878 and graded the remainder of the line to Wellston. 2 It had exhausted its financial resources to lay any track until the company was reorganized as the OS. 9 One of the company’s first actions was to finish the Wellston Branch, with rails installed in July 1881. 3 10 Its completion proved to be extremely profitable for the OS as the area around Coalton had the highest density of coal mines in Jackson County. 2 Spurs from the 17.43-mile Wellston Branch included: 13

  • Crescent Mine Spur
  • Roderick and Jones and Price’s Mines Spur
  • Armstrong Mine Spur
  • Chapman Mine Spur
  • Keystone, Jackson Hill and Springfield Mines Spur at Chapman
  • Standard, Grace and Jones Mine Spur
  • Hall Mine Spur at Davisville
  • Hipple Mine Spur at Coalton
  • Acorn Mine Spur at Altoona
  • Alma Mine Spur at Altoona
  • Emma Mine Spur at Altoona
  • Twin-Ada Mine Spur at Glen Roy
  • Alma Cement Spur at South Wellston
  • Eliza Branch Spur at South Wellston
  • Domestic Coal Company Spur
  • Wainwright Loading Tracks
  • Superior Mine Spur
  • Elk Fork and Wellston Hill Mines Spur at Lincoln
  • McChee Spur
  • Iron Valley Mine Spur
  • Iron Valley Furnace, Etna Mine and J.H. Brown Mine Spur
  • Lehigh-Portland Cement Company Spur
  • Victory Colliery Spur
  • Backarack Mine Spur
  • Cadet Spur

Detroit & Lima Northern Railway

The Lima Northern Railway was established in March 1895 to construct a 78¼-mile line from Lima, Ohio, to Adrian, Michigan. 14 15 Under-capitalized, the Lima Northern never constructed any track. In March 1896, the Detroit & Cincinnati Railway was incorporated with the goal of constructing a line from Lenawee County to Detroit, Michigan. 4 The Detroit & Cincinnati was reincorporated as the Detroit & Lima Northern Railway (D&LN) in February 1897 3 4 15 and purchased the Lima Northern on May 10th and the Detroit & Chicago Railroad between Chandler’s Curve and Dundee on November 15th.

Subsequently, the D&LN constructed an 11-mile track from South Adrian to Tecumseh in Michigan and a 5-mile line from Durban to Dundee in Michigan. 4 15 The inaugural train ran on the D&LN on May 27th, 1897.

In August, the D&LN acquired the CJ&M Michigan Division, which was reorganized as the Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Railroad (DT&M). 4 15 In 1898, the D&LN built a 13-mile track from Chandler’s Curve to Detroit and obtained trackage rights from the CJ&M between Dundee and Tecumseh. The D&LN had developed a continuous 137½-mile route between Lima and Detroit, with the first through freight operating in May.

Detroit Southern Railroad

On September 6, 1898, the D&LN went into receivership. 11 It was sold to Frederick J. Lisman, who renamed it the Detroit Southern Railroad (DS) on May 25, 1901. The DS acquired the Ohio Southern in June, 3 4 10 and the Iron Railway mainline between Ironton and Center Furnace and three branches on September 25, 1902. 11

The DS extended the Iron Railway from Lisman to the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Portsmouth Branch at Bloom Junction. 3 11 25 27 This extension opened on June 13, 1903. From Bloom Junction north to Jackson, the DS used B&O trackage rights. 11 15

The DS had a total length of 396.9 miles, with 331.22 miles in Ohio and 65.68 miles in Michigan. 4

Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad

In July 1904, the DS went into receivership. However, on December 17, the company announced plans to build new car shops on Athens Street at the former Jackson Racing Park in Jackson as it was closer to originating traffic and to replace a facility in Springfield. 6 Local citizens were to raise $28,000 through public subscription, with $10,000 subscribed on the first day of the drive and the entire amount secured by December 22.

On April 18, 1905, a contract was let to the Pittsburgh Construction Company to build the Jackson Car Shops. 6 Crews began removing the race track on April 23, and tracks were laid to the shops on April 24. In October, inspections revealed a poor foundation, which was corrected with reinforcements.

On May 1, 1905, the DS was reorganized as the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railway (DT&I), with finishing touches completed on the new Jackson Car Shops by mid-July. 2 4 6 12 15 The DT&I went into receivership on February 1, 1908, and the Northern Division between Lima and Delray, Michigan, and the Southern Division between Ironton and Bloom Junction were sold in April 1913. On March 2, 1914, the Northern and Southern Divisions were merged back into the newly formed Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (DT&I). 3 4 12 13

Jackson Car Shops

The DT&I installed new, heavier rail and rebuilt all trestles in Michigan and some in Ohio. 4 In 1915, the Toledo-Detroit Railroad (T-D), which owned a line between Toledo, Ohio, and Dundee, Michigan, was leased to the DT&I, which formed their Toledo Branch. 3 The DT&I gained control of the T-D through stock ownership on May 1, 1916.

Between January 1918 and March 1920, the DT&I was operated by the United States Railroad Administration. 3 During this time, the railroad only maintained the tracks minimally due to high traffic levels, failing infrastructure, and bad equipment, and it was unable to afford continued maintenance on the line. 4 5

The timing was bad for Ford Motor Company’s Rouge River facility, which was being built along the Rouge River in Dearborn, Michigan. The company relied on the DT&I as the source of raw materials to feed its own electricity plant, steel mill, and forges.

In 1920, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) instructed the DT&I to rebuild the Rouge River bridge in Dearborn, Michigan, to enable lake access to Ford’s Rouge River plant. 5 However, the railroad company did not have the financial resources to undertake the project and risked the bridge failing. To avoid this, on July 10, 1920, Henry Ford purchased the DT&I for $5 million. 4 6 13 The acquisition included 455 miles of mainline, 155 miles of branch lines, 80 locomotives, around 12 passenger cars, and 2,800 freight cars. 4 6

Soon after taking over, Ford started making improvements to the DT&I, such as new ballast, ties, heavy rail, culvert replacements, ditching, bank widening, and bridge replacements. 3 A program to replace or rebuild locomotives and cars was initiated. In March 1921, Ford became the president of the DT&I and frequently traveled along the railroad, often sitting in the locomotive. 4

Ford created two new organizations to expand the railroads:

  • The Detroit & Ironton Railroad (D&I) was established as a subsidiary of the DT&I on June 29, 1920. It built a 13½-mile double-track railway from Ford’s plant in Dearborn to the DT&I mainline near Flat Rock Station, and a new classification yard in Flat Rock. 3 4
  • The Ford Transportation Company was founded on June 25, 1923. It built a large terminal yard near Flat Rock with 25 miles of tracks, car repair facilities, track scales, and a water station. 15

The 13½-mile Dearborn Branch was constructed in 1922-23 to enhance access to Rouge River. 4 This was followed by the construction of a 55½-mile cutoff between Malinta, Ohio, and Durban, Michigan in 1925-29, which included the installation of a second track between Petersburg, Michigan, and Durban. 15 It replaced 76 miles of line that included numerous curves, steep grades, and runs through urban areas. Five miles of track from the New York Central Railroad at Dundee and Tecumseh was abandoned in May 1930, while the segment from Malinta and Tecumseh was retained, becoming the Tecumseh Branch.

Ford had planned to electrify the DT&I with the aim of creating a unified electrified route between Detroit and the electrified Virginian Railway in West Virginia and Virginia. 4 On June 1, 1925, trial runs were conducted on a 17-mile electrified section of the DT&I. Two electric locomotives, designed by Ford and equipped with Westinghouse electrics, were used, and the top speed of the line was 43 MPH. The locomotives were fully operational in 1926, but Ford abandoned the electrification project in 1930. Many of the concrete arches that were installed by Ford in the electrification project were reused for a rip-rap project at Mosquito Lake near Cortland, Ohio in 1947.

By the end of the 1920s, Ford was dissatisfied with the limitations imposed by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and decided to sell his railroad interests. 13 On June 27, 1929, the securities of the DT&I were purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad for $36 million, 4 13 and on December 23, the T-D formally merged with the DT&I. 4

In 1923, the Quackerton Coal Seam near Wellston was exhausted, which led to the DT&I filing a petition to the ICC in June 1929, requesting to abandon 17.43 miles of the Wellston Branch. 13 The Jackson Hill Mine was the only active coal mine along the line, and trains only operated three times per week to Wellston and once a week beyond it. The ICC granted the request, and the Wellston Branch was taken out of service on December 29.

The DT&I then abandoned a two-mile branch between Bartles and Dean in 1930, 14 years after the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway from Dean to Wellston was abandoned because of extensive flooding. On April 18, 1932, the railroad ceased passenger service north of Springfield 13 and between Jackson and Ironton on September 18, 1932. 6 25

The controlling interest in the DT&I was sold to the Pennsylvania and Wabash railroads on February 28, 1951. 13 On September 15, 1953, the Railway Post Office route between Springfield and Jackson was abolished, leading to the discontinuation of passenger service between the two cities on May 8, 1954.

The DT&I abandoned a portion of the Tecumseh Branch on March 3, 1958, 4 followed by a segment of the Toledo Branch (former T-D Petersburg Junction to Lambertville) in December 1965. 5 The railroad then abandoned its mainline and instead operated on parallel B&O tracks between Leipsic and South Cairo, Ohio, and dismantled 17 miles of former D&LN track in Michigan. It did, however, undertake a significant improvement project between 1966 and 1969, building a new 36-track classification yard with semi-automatic retarders in Flat Rock at a cost of $4.5 million. 4

In 1968, Pennsylvania Railroad merged with the New York Central Railroad to form the Penn Central Transportation Company, which went into receivership in 1970. The DT&I was sold to private investors. Early efforts to save costs called for all DT&I tracks south of Lima to be abandoned in 1975, but the plan was never executed. The viable parts were eventually transferred to Conrail in April 1976. 5

In May 1978, due to a lack of customers and deferred maintenance, the former D&LN mainline between Wauseon, Ohio, and Tecumseh, Michigan, was abandoned. 4 However, Norfolk & Western Railway assumed operations between Tecumseh and Adrian to service a Fisher Body factory.

Ann Arbor Railroad

In June 1905, the Ann Arbor Railroad (AA), which connected Toledo and Frankfort, Michigan, was acquired by the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railway from Rudolph Kleybolte & Company. 31 However, due to the 1908 bankruptcy, the DT&I was forced to divest its purchase.

In 1963, the Ann Arbor Railroad came under the control of DT&I, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. However, in April 1976, much of the route faced abandonment when the AA became part of Conrail. 5 In a bid to preserve rail service, the state of Michigan acquired the AA in October 1977 and designated Michigan Interstate Railroad as the operator of the entire line from Toledo to Frankfort.

During the 1980s, three different companies operated over the former AA. Michigan Interstate operated between Toledo and Osmer, Michigan, while Tuscola & Saginaw Bay Railroad operated between Osmer and Alma. The Michigan Northern Railroad operated between Alma and Frankfort. However, the eventual collapse of the Michigan Northern resulted in the Tuscola & Saginaw Bay taking over all operations from Osmer to Frankfort, later becoming the Great Lakes Central Railroad. In 1988, Ann Arbor Acquisition Corporation purchased Michigan Interstate trackage and later sold it to WATCO, the current operator of the line from Toledo to Osmer.

Grand Trunk Western Railroad

In December 1979, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW) acquired the DT&I. 23 Under the GTW, the DT&I locomotives were painted in the red and blue livery of the GTW but retained the DT&I logo.

Following a rockfall in the Royersville Tunnel, the GTW filed for the abandonment of the 29.35-mile Ironton Branch between Ironton and Bloom Junction in August 1981. 5 19 The tunnel had suffered rockfall in the past, but few customers or mines remained on the line along the branch line. At the same time, the GTW secured trackage rights over the Chessie System (ex-Baltimore & Ohio and Chesapeake & Ohio Railroads) between Waverly and Washington Court House, bypassing the steep and curvy Summithill section between Bainbridge and Waverly.

Royersville Tunnel
Royersville Tunnel

Tracks began to be removed from the Ironton Branch between Ironton and Bloom Junction and on the mainline between Waverly and Washington Court House in November 1982. 21 In December 1983, the DT&I was completely assimilated into the GTW. On March 27, 1984, the railroad shops in Jackson were closed, 6 and the line between Jackson and Waverly was taken out of service. 5

The GTW sold its DT&I trackage from Springfield to Lurray near Washington Court House to the West Central Ohio Port Authority in January 1991. This was then operated in conjunction with the former B&O Toledo Division from Lurray to Washington Court House by the Indiana & Ohio Railway (I&O). In 1997, GTW sold the former DT&I mainline from Springfield, Ohio to Dundee, Michigan, to the I&O. Included in the sale was trackage rights from Dundee to Flat Rock, Michigan over the former DT&I.

As of 2023, a short section of the DT&I mainline west of Jackson remains to serve as a connection to the Jackson Belt Line for a few customers. Another section of the DT&I mainline is also in use from the junction with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Greenfield to serve a customer.



  1. Ohio Genealogical So Jackson County, Ohio Genealogical Society. “Mines of the Eastern Hill Coals.” History & Families of Jackson County, Ohio. Paducah: Turner, 1991. 35. Google Books. Web. 23 Aug. 2010. Article.
  2. Ohio Genealogical So Jackson County, Ohio Genealogical Society. “Mines of the Famous 2 ‘Quakertown Coal.’” History & Families of Jackson County, Ohio. Paducah: Turner, 1991. 33-34. Google Books. Web. 23 Aug. 2010. Article.
  3. Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad Company. “HISTORY OF THE DETROIT, TOLEDO AND IRONTON RAILROAD.” DT&I Modelers Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. Article.
  4. Pletz, William C. “The Railroad That Went No Place.” Inside Track 1979: n. pag. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. Article.
  5. Landrum, J. Erik. “A Brief History of the DT&I .” Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad Historical Web Site. N.p., 7 Jan. 1998. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. Article.
  6. Ervin, Robert. “The D T & I Car Shops.” Jackson, Ohio. Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, 201. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. Article.
  7. “Transportation and Communication: Dayton, Toledo and Ironton.” A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio. Ed. Eugene B. Willard et al. Vol. 1. 1916. Marceline, MO: Walsworth,, n.d. 99. Print.
  8. “Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 1. Print.
  9. “Springfield Southern Railroad Company.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 2. Print.
  10. “Ohio Southern Railroad.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 2-3. Print.
  11. “Detroit Southern Railroad.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 4. Print.
  12. “Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railway.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 4. Print.
  13. “Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad Company.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 5-7. Print.
  14. “History of the DT&I Taken From DT&I Railroad News.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 1-6. Print.
  15. “History of the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 1-6. Print.
  16. Collett, Charles. “DT&I Excursionists To See Local Lore.” Ironton Tribune n.d.: n.p. Print.
  17. “Chessie, NW To Buy DT&I Railroad.” Ironton Tribune 1977 June: n.p. Print.
  18. “Railroad to Challenge DT&I Sale.” Ironton Tribune 7 Nov. 1977: n.p. Print.
  19. Mayne, Don. “DT&I may abandoned rail lines.” Ironton Tribune 25 Aug. 1981: 1-2. Print.
  20. “Grand Trunk takes over DT&I.” Associated Press 26 June 1980: n.p. Print.
  21. “Rail work begins.” Ironton Tribune 30 Nov. 1982: n.p. Print.
  22. “Western to acquire DTI.” Ironton Tribune 11 Dec. 1979: n.p. Print.
  23. “DT&I to be sold.” Ironton Tribune 31 Dec. 1979: n.p. Print.
  24. Trostel, Scott D. “The Ironton River Barge.” The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. Fletcher: Cam-Tech, 1988. 59-61. Print.
  25. Davis, Evan Edward. “Iron Horses.” Industrial History of Oak Hill, Ohio. N.p.: 1973. 19-21. Print.
  26. Collett, Charles. “DT&I Excursionists To See Local Lore.” Ironton Tribune n.d.: n.p. Print.
  27. Unknown book title. 56. Print.
  28. Willard, Eugene B., Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman, and Charles B. Taylor. “Transportation and Communication.” A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio. Lewis Publishing Company, 1916, pp. 96-99.
  29. Willard, Eugene B., Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman, and Charles B. Taylor. “The Iron Industries.” A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio. Lewis Publishing Company, 1916, pp. 278-279.
  30. “Two Other Lines.” History of Lower Scioto Valley, Ohio. Inter-State Publishing Company, 1884, pp. 500.
  31. Ann Arbor Railroad Changes Hands.” New York Daily Tribune, 9 Jun. 1905, p. 8.


Add Yours →

My dad started out on the DT&I when he was 18. His mom and dad were telegraph operators at Summit Hill. He then worked from Cinci to Lima for a time as a fire man. Later in the 50’s he became an engineer and moved north to Napoleon. We lived 1 block from the roundhouse in Napoleon. I remember going to work with my dad many times as I grew up. He mainly stayed in the Napoleon, Malinta area but due to seniority went to Lima and Flat Rock. He retired in ’82. Napoleon used to manage 4 diferent jobs. Three between Napoleon and Malinta, servicing Campbells, and one over the oldline from Napoleon and Dundee. Knew all the crews and all the agents in Napoleon.

I’m a signal maintainer for CN on the line from Flat Rock, MI to the Diann interlocking with the Ann Arbor. The line has gotten very slow these days, just one train off the Ann Arbor from Toledo to Flat Rock and back each day, accompanied by an occasional I&O train to the yard and back south. They are supposed to remove the siding at Maybee in 2017 and the switch at North Diann as well, turning the Diann siding into a stub track acting as an HBD set off. Sad sad sad any way you look at it….

Some people think that the arches were for some kind of radio system. Live in the Downriver area all my life and followed the DT&I thru to the end.

The concrete arches constructed by Henry Ford for his electrified rail experiment still exist. They form a very interesting sight as they are so unusual, and most people don’t know why they are there or what function they served. As a kid I lived about 100 feet from a portion of the concrete-arched line, and back then I wondered why all railroad lines didn’t have concrete arches. They make a very interesting photo subject as well.

My father was Howard Seeley, the Engineer Maintenance of Way and Chief Engineer in the 50’s and 60’s. He told of being concerned about the liability if those old arches started falling down so he sent a crew out to take them down. They succeed in taking down at least one, but it was such a tough job that it was decided they would leave the rest up. Ford had built them to last forever with the type of concrete and rebar he used.

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