The story of a forgotten America.

Railfanning in Ohio

The Railfanning in Ohio update covers the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, Little Miami Railroad and the Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley.

One of the larger backlogs in the Abandoned collection are my photographs of disused rail lines throughout the Midwest. The Railfanning in Ohio update covers the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, Little Miami Railroad and the Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley.

Marietta and Cincinnati

The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad (M&C) 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.

The M&C was chartered on March 8, 1845 as the Belpre and Cincinnati Railroad (B&C) to connect to either to Parkersburgh, Virginia, or Harmer, Ohio in Washington County. The route west would be through the Hocking Valley via Athens or Chillicothe, to some point on the Little Miami Railroad between Plainville in Hamilton County and the mouth of Obanon Creek in Clermont County near Cincinnati.

Construction began in the spring of 1851 and the 173-mile line opened from Harmar to the Little Miami Railroad at Loveland in 1857. The M&C/B&O SW absorbed through acquisitions, the Hillsboro and Cincinnati, the Ohio and Mississippi, the Union Railroad, the Columbus and Cincinnati Midland and the Scioto and Hocking Valley.

By 1900, the M&C formally merged with the B&O Southwest (SW), which became the Chessie System in 1973 and CSX in 1986.

In 1985, the last through train was moved between Greenfield and Parkersburg. Soon after, the tracks were removed between Greenfield and Athens. The tracks through Athens and eastward to Parkersburg remained in place due to rumored coal trains that were to be needed along the Ohio River. But the increase in traffic never occurred, and the line from Athens east was dismantled in November 1991. Through CSX traffic is routed either north at Willard or south through Huntington, West Virginia.

Little Miami Railroad

Other updates include the addition of several photographs of the Little Miami Railroad from the Pendleton Yards to Loveland.

Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad

The Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley connected the cities of Morrow, Wilmington, Washington Court House, Circleville, Zanesville and Trinway in Ohio.  The C&MV was incorporated in 1851, and was completed from Morrow to Zanesville by 1856. It foreclosed only seven years later, and reorganized into the Cincinnati & Zanesville. In 1870, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took control over the C&MV, and extended the railroad to Trinway. In 1911, the C&MV consolidated into the Cleveland, Akron & Cincinnati Railroad (CA&C). In 1924, the Zanesville Division was absorbed by the PRR Cincinnati Division, which consolidated into the Pittsburgh, Ohio & Detroit Railroad one year later.

By 1968, the line had become the Morrow Branch, Zanesville Branch, and Twinway Branch of the Pennsylvania Central Columbus Division.

The line west of Wilmington was dismantled in 1976 when the connecting line, the Little Miami, part of the Pennsylvania’s Cincinnati & Xenia Branch, Cincinnati Division, was abandoned.


Add Yours →

I was a railroad conductor for 5 years for CSX out of the Queensgate Yard, Cincinnati. This was from 1997 to 2002. I got hurt on the job and had to give it up. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the job. Feel free to contact me through my email.

Great pictures! Found them when looking for an ancestor who was killed when the C.G $ PRR bridge collapsed in 1877. I would like to ask if you know anything about this bridge collapse, please let me know. The mans name was William Ellsberry Young, died at the collapse of the bridge on July 24, 1877. Thanks.

Just a note from an old title searcher, I am currently trying to track this line down and have located a deed filed in 1898 in regards to the foreclosure you mention. Case # 210, United States Circuit Court, Southern District, Eastern Division. The deed states that one John P Green was the higest bidder at the sale and purchased the line for the sum of $500,000.00 and then had it deeded back to the Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad Company. The Special Master Commissioner was Benjamin R Cowen. From there the trail goes dark. Do you have any documentation you'd be willing to share on this. The deed I am finding to this RR was filed in Muskingum in 1874 from George Adams. et al as to the part that I am searching, and we seem to have a conflict on the foreclosure dates. I am not finding anything (so far) in the county records, but I have not exhausted all avenues as yet.

Traveling south on route 23, passing over former C&O trackage, also pass over abandoned right of way. Bridge carrys former C&O over the right of way, just curious what railroad was. Had heard it is, or was, former Pennsylvania. Also heard bridge was in place to carry railroad over Scioto River, as railroad headed west to, assuming, Cincinnatti. Can you tell me if mill in Circleville is still served by railroad? Also, just north of Chillicothe is a rather unique passage of the former C&O over the present day NS, former N&W. Am also kind of fond of old railroad bridges. Have one very close to where I live in Northeast Ohio, about 25 miles west of Cleveland. Railroad is abandoned, used to be Lorain & West Virginia, chartered by Wheeling and Lake Erie, to carry coal to steel mill in Lorain, Ohio. Railroad operated form 1906 to 1979, when extensive damage to an area, just north of Wellington, resulted in washout of track, subsequent abandonment. Anyway, bridge is located in Sheffield Village, carrying tracks 90 feet above Black River, while stretching some 760 feet across river valley. Pretty neat to look at, also great photo opportunity. Adjacent route 254 road bridge provides excellant view, especially in winter when no obstructions.

Excellent shots. Thanks for posting them online. You are providing an artful and practical record of a big part of our history that is disappearing.

I will try to get around to sending you some of our shots that I'm sure you'll find interesting. I'm a fan of rail bridges, in particular, active and abandoned.

Are you aware of the duplication of some of your caption text?

Just wanted to send a note of appreciation for your work. ~,~

Leave your comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Abandoned Kentucky hardcover book is now available at a lower price when you order directly from us.