Wheeling Terminal Railway
The Wheeling Terminal Railway (WT) is a former 9½ mile railroad between Martins Ferry, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.
After a series of bankruptcies and consolidations between 1882 and 1889, the Wheeling Bridge & Terminal Railway (WB&T) was proposed to consist of 10½ miles of track from the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad at Martin’s Ferry, Ohio to Wheeling via a 2,097-foot double-track bridge 3 over the Ohio River, and three tunnels that are 537 feet, 1,203 feet, and 2,406 feet long, respectively. 2
The Ohio River crossing was designed by Job Abbott, a consulting engineer for the WB&T, 2 built by the Edge Moor Bridge Works of Wilmington, Delaware, and opened to traffic on September 11, 1891. 1 After crossing the river, the WB&T crossed under Mt. Wood via a 537-foot and a 1,203-foot tunnel 3 6 before crossing Wheeling Creek on a 320-foot deck truss bridge. The 4.7-mile line then connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) at 27th Street in Wheeling. 5 6
A 2.2-mile extension from the B&O to the Riverside Iron Works, including a 2,406-foot tunnel under Chapline Hill, was finished by May 1895. 5 The WB&T was then extended .38 miles south to 9th Street in Benwood by November 1896. The Mt. Hood tunnels were partially rebuilt in 1904. 4
In January 1921, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took over operations of the WT. 6 The Chapline Hill Tunnel saw significant work in 1926. 4
The line saw two short abandonments. In 1926, the .60 miles of line from the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad junction to the DeHass Bridge in Martins Ferry was dismantled, and in 1929, 1.28 miles of line was disused in Benwood. 6
In 1938, the last passenger train crossed the Ohio River bridge and tunnels and was outright abandoned in 1982. 2 After 11 years of disuse, the Ohio River crossing was removed in 1993.