Trotwood to Union City

The Dayton and Greenville Railroad

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Map submitted by Mike Fromholt.

This railway was built in 1852 between Dayton and Greenville, Ohio, as the Dayton and Greenville Railroad. Later, it was extended to Union City and renamed the Dayton and Union Railroad. It was purchased by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and through subsequent mergers, was finally abandoned by CSX in the 1990s.

Today, part of the route serves as the Wolf Creek rail trail between Trottwood and Verona.

Thanks to Mike Fromholt for contributing information about this route.

The B&O used Pennsylvania trackage rights from Dayton to Dodson (west of Brookville) then owned the tracks to Union City. When Conrail abandoned this route in March 1983, CSX took over the line from Dayton to Dodson as well. I believe the line from Jaysville to Union City was abondoned around 1981. This made the northern terminus at Jaysville between Arcanum and Greenville.

This line from Dayton to Jaysville was used to serve Continental Grain west of Arcanum. I have heard the the train would go north through Arcanum, back through the junction switch and onto the old NYC Springfield Branch. Then it would go west on the old NYC to Continental Grain. Then it would reverse the moves and take the grain cars to Dayton. The line was abandoned in March 1993 and the tracks pulled up. The NYC Springfield Branch was not included in Conrail and saw it's last train on March 31, 1976. This segment was left so B&O could serve Continental Grain.

Brian Spirito
Englewood, OH
6/8/2012

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I use to live in brookville,ohio, use to run uptown and watch the trains go through, either they would haul all grain cars, or they would be dropping off wood for hawkins saw mill, lots of chessie units and seaboard units

mark
Cincinnati
7/23/2013

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We knew this railroad as the D&U and it was part of the local scenery for many years. Trains came from Dayton on the PRR tracks and switched to D&U (B&O) tracks in Dodson about three miles NW of Brookville. Our farm was located along the railroad with the house immediately adjacent to the right-of-way. They ran steam well after all the other railroads had switched to diesel. In fact, the steam engine was still operating when I left home in 1959. There was no regular schedule. The train ran up towards Greenville sometime in the morning and came back when the work was done in the afternoon. You could hear the whistle at the crossing for Route 40 in Bachman just north of us. We kids would all run out and wait for the train to pass by. Some times the crew would throw gum or union magazines out to us. They would pull up to the switch in Dodson and wait for clearance from the PRR to proceed out onto the PRR tracks to head for Dayton. If they got back after 4:00 PM, they sometimes had a long wait as the PRR had a very full schedule on their line in those days. If they had more than about 18 to 20 cars, they would block our road until they could get onto the PRR. If they were there too long, they would have to break the train to open the road. The only time this happened was during the wheat harvest season. Another note: the locals affectionately called the D&U the Darned Uncertain or the Dirty Underwear. Those days are long gone and I think back to them with nostalgia.

Ronald Eby
Vancouver, WA
2/25/2015

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I lived in Brookville for most of my life. I grew up with the PRR line that ran through Brookville it was known as the Buckeye Division Dayton to Richmond. There were two passenger trains the Westbound was the Spirit of St. Louis that ran from New York to St. Louis. The Eastbound may have been the National Limited. The mail service didn't end in 1931 it existed in the 1950's and 1960's as Jerry Lieber was the postmaster and we would watch a fellow named Ben Glander hang the Mail in the hoop West of Albert Rd. The mail drop off was the depot. Paul Kahl was the agent at Brookville until 1974. I began working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Dayton, Ohio in 1969 and met with Paul in 1973. The agents work was transferred into Needmore Yards at Dayton and we handled the work for about 10 years. The Baltimore & Ohio made modest revenues on the customers at Brookville, Verona, Arcanum, and Greenville. In 1983 Continental Grain at Arcanum signed a 10 year 10 million dollar contract to move unit trains from Arcanum. This was lucrative enough to keep the line open. The tracks were in poor condition and the taxes and update calculated by the railroad was estimated at $50,000 per mile. Some of the rail was 90lb and 100lb and Grain Trains (65) cars had to move slow. Continetal Grains contract expired before 1993 as their 10 year deal had been met. The grain company decided to truck the grain to barges on the Ohio River and the railroad couldn't justify keeping the line open. Some of the old railroad group that worked in the 1920 era had told me that Dodson was a cannon loading point during the civil war. I searched the Battalion records but couldn't support that information. I felt the railroad could have kept the line open to Hamils new elevator west of Brookville but it was decided to close the line east of Trotwood. That segment of the railroad was kept open because of the warehouses of Peerless supported General Motors. The bad crossing accident that I remember was downtown Brookville when Sam Thomas who was Dr. Thomas's brother pulled in front of a passenger train cutting his car in two and dragging car parts several hundred feet down the tracks. He survived the crash with cuts and bruises.

There used to be a Hobo village between Brookville and Golden Gate Park that was from the late 1800's early 1900 era with worn paths. When we went to play baseball at the park you had to run from the Hobos as they would rob you of your valuables. The Hobo village was nicked named Hollywood. I have more to add when I find my notes.

Peter Kerlin
Brookville, OH
12/27/2015

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This line was the Dayton & Union Subdivision in B&O employee timetables. There are two Union City's, one on each side of the Ohio-Indiana border. The D&U crossed the state line and had 0.2 miles of right-of-way in the state of Indiana, where a connection was made with the NYC. In steam days, the D&U used the New York Central engine facilities that once were on the south side of the NYC main line. The D&U came under B&O control in 1926. The last B&O run to Union City was in October 1964, and the line was cut back to Greenville. I'm not sure when service to Greenville ended, it was late 1970's or early 1980's. As others have noted here, the line remained in service to Arcanum in order to provide service to Continental Grain, west of Arcanum on the old NYC (P&E) line between Springfield and Indianapolis. Not sure when this service ended, but the line to Arcanum was gone by the mid-1990's.

Steve Salamon
Valley City, OH
1/17/2016

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The track from Arcanum to Greenville was abandoned in the mid 80's. Service continued to Arcanum but poor track conditions and slow speeds made this an increasingly costly operation. Permission was sought and received to abandon the remaining portion of the Dayton & Union Subdivision. The last train to go to Arcanum and then west to the grain elevator was in 1987.

Kenton
Columbus, OH
10/1/2016

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/wc9
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