Cincinnati to London, OH
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This was the Cincinnati Division of the Pittsburg, Cincnnati, Chicago & St Louis Railroad. Later becoming part of the Penn Central then Conrail. Most has been developed into the Little Miami Rail Trail.
This line was abandoned between Spring Valley and Cincinnati when Conrail was formed. It was not included in Conrail and the line was pulled up not long afterward. The line from Spring Valley to Xenia was abandoned sometime in the 1980's. Service from London to Xenia was discontinued in 1988 and the line was pulled up. The DT&I used the line from Xenia to Cincinnati during the 1960's and 1970's until they switched over to the Springfield-Dayton-Cincinnati line of the Penn Central.
In Cincinnati this Pennsy heritage line primarily terminated at Undercliff Yard but he track extended south by the Stadiums to meet up with the other railroads at the Cincinnati Union Terminal. There was a lot of curves and creeks that caused flooding so it was a high-maintenance line.
Just about all of this is a Rail-Trail. I've ridden most of it from Roxanna to London. I haven't ridden south of Roxanna. In South Charleston there is about a mile of track left to serve industries. The old DT&I there is operated by the Indiana and Ohio Railroad. Xenia has a neat replica of the old station built to serve bicyclists. The station is still standing in London but I don't believe it is used for anything. South Charleston still has the DT&I station standing.
The C & X Branch was a interesting line. First time in early '70 I walked the line from Red Bank to E. Clare. (End of double track eastward). PC was running a passenger train that usually ran in the mornings. Always a E-8 and a coach. By the time school let out for the summer the #78 was discontinued in June '70. DT&I ran a pair of trains (DC-8 & DC-9) and PC was running 2-5 trains. OLN-7,CP-4,CB-6,CB-7,and empty L&N hopper extra's normally ran (At times were detoured via Dayton). Occasional ore trains ran to Middletown via Kings Mill Jct. Clare,Loveland and Greene Towers were open Block Stations along with a few miles of controlled double track. The rest of the line was pure ABS with manual sidings. In '70 the Main was fairly in good shape but within a couple years was saddled with numerous slow orders. In Nov '71. the auto signals between W. Greene and Morrow were taken out of service as more traffic was shifted over to the busy ex-NYC Cincinnati Line. By early '73 the rest of the ABS signals were OOS. The 4-mile controlled double track from Fosters to Loveland became a non-signaled signal track. Fixed approach semaphore-styled signals were implemented at Fosters and west of Loveland. In fall of '73 the same manner was applied at E. Clare approaching westerly to Clare. DC-8 & DC-9 became regular trains running via Clement Hill to Sharonville. CP-4 became the sole train running East to Xenia until July '74. According to the tower operator at Clare DT&I was interested in buying the line. The rails were removed from Waynesville to just shy of East Clare in Dec '78. In Apr '76 NW Ry. was the new owner of this portion of the line west to CP-Valley. Clare Tower was closed in Dec'76 NW controlled Clare Interlocking and CP-Red Bank from it's Clare Yard office. CR Reading Rd (Stella Ct after '77) controlled CP-Rendcomb Jct,CP-Valley and the Oasis Branch that Clare Tower used to control. Loveland Tower was part-time after '74 (Open by bulletin) and closed when the Chessie removed the diamond in Jan '76.
Was the South Charleston grain operation serviced by Conrail from Dayton or out of Columbus until 1988? I have seen several somewhat conflicting mentions elsewhere on the Internet regarding this question. Brian S. stated that service from London to Xenia continued until 1988. What business was still utilizing rail in Xenia at that time? I have read that the final train to use the Dayton to Xenia portion of the line was in September 1986. A Xenia/Greene County chronology web site states that on September 15, 1986, "a Conrail locomotive removes the last freight cars from Hooven & Allison and returns to Dayton, ending 141 years of rail service to Xenia OH." That somehow seems too early for all action to have ended on that track. Others mention the 1988 time frame that Brian S. noted. Based upon that same Xenia/Greene County chronology page, track removal did not commence until late 1988.
The last thru frieght traveled east through Xenia in Dec 1984 around midnight(I was fortunate enough to see this movement at the US 35 crossing east of Xenia).Service from Columbus(including from London and South Charleston) ended immediately. Service to London and South Charleston only from Columbus ended around 1991.Today service to South Charleston is acomplished by the former DT&I line from Springfield.The last revenue movement from Xenia came in July of 1986 (removing a derailed car from the Hooven and Allison rope factory on Cincinnati Av). The final train leaving Xenia was a rail removing train in Sept 1988(my father Arthur Kilner rode on this train documenting and photographing the removal for the Greene County Historical society.I took the last known photos of the overgrown Xenia rail yard in August 1988.Brett Kilner