The Fort Wayne Line
I think that's the old PRR Toledo line. The "Fort Wayne" was Pennsy's Pittsburgh-Chicago main which goes west from Mansfield (where the Toledo line originally left the mainline) and passed through Crestline, Bucyrus, Lima and Fort Wayne.
That was the toledo division of the former PRR. It was abandoned from Toledo Jct. to Carrothers c. late-1950's and traffic was routed to Bucyrus and thennorth on the Sandusky Branch. The xgs of the NYC at Vernon Jct. and of the AC&Y at New Washington were elininated as were the diamonds at Carrothers.
The line is intact Tiffin to Toledo.
I was born and raised in the area. This line was originally built as the Mansfield, Coldwater and Lake Michigan Railroad. The road was taken over by the Pennsylvania before it was completed. According to the Richland COunty tax maps from the late 1800s, the original junction was on the north side of Mansfield, and the road ran parallel to the Pennsy main line for a few miles before it turned northwest. My great grandfather was an engineer on the road in the early 1900s
there are old maps of NW Ohio that show the PROPOSED line that was NEVER built. In Wood County there is a small town ---- Jerry City ---- whose layout still shows how the railroad would have gone through town.
This portion of this line became the old Toledo Division of the PRR. The direction of travel was southbound from Tiffin to Toledo Jct. The first siding you came upon was located on the right side of the single main and was called Pen. This one mile siding ran into the village of Ink. At Ink a small stub track was located to handle any carloads for this village.
Where SR 224 use to cross the single main was the small village of Rockaway. This was also where Rockaway Hill was located. The grade started up hill just south of Tiffin Interlocking and crested about a half mile south of SR 224. Many trains had to back to Ink sanding the rails and begin
the upward climb to crest the hill. At times this hill was doubled with the headend cars being stored in Bloomville Siding. As the crew returned for the balance of their train.
Continuing south you came upon the town of Bloomville. At this location a grainy, elevator, hay barn, lumber company and coal dealer was located as well as the passenger depot. Just south of the depot the mainline became two tracks, not three as someone suggested. This was the old Bloomville Siding for handling inbound empties hoppers and outbound stone hoppers to and from Bloomville Quarry. At the south end of this siding a hand-thrown crossover was located from both mains to the siding. This was called Bloom Crossover.
Going further south you would find the little village of St. Stephens. At onetime this location handled outbound and inbound carloads for the grocery store and also for St. Stephens Brick and Tile Company.
South from this location you would find the North Carrothers Crossover. This was located just north of the e North Carrothers Yard Lead leading to a five track yard. At Carrothers was located an elevator just south of Route 4 or the right side of the southbound wye going southbound to
Columbus on the old Sandusky Shortline. A crossover connected both main tracks with a northbound wye going to Bellvue and Sandusky; while the southbound wye. Both of these wye tracks connected to a long siding not the main. Off the main a southbound wye track connected South Carrothers Yard, which also had five yard tracks. Years before this location not only had a passenger depot, but interlocking tower as well as a huge coal station and water plug for steam engines.
Going south from Carrothers you came upon Stack Tower, just north of New Washington. The tower handled PRR and AC&Y trains. There was also a couple of industries served by both railroads. The main one was the S.J. Kilber Company. New Washington also had a small siding called New Washington Siding.
South out of New Washington you came upon the village of Tiro. A passenger station and the Crawford County Farm Bureau was located. It was during the PC era they fought a court battle with the owner of this elevator to abandoned the line south of Carrothers ending in the early seventies.
South of Tiro was Tiro Hill another steep grade. At the Big Four and PRR interlocking was Hines Tower. At this location steam engines could take on water. There was also a short stub track for setting out bad order cars.
Further down the road you finally came to Toledo Jct., where the Toledo Branch connected with the Fort Wayne Mainline just west of Mansfield.
I hope this gives you a little more insight in later years of this portion of the railroad. I worked for the PRR in my early years. This was called the Toledo Branch of the Fort Wayne Division; while later it became known as the Carrothers Branch when southbound trains ran from Toledo to Crestline.
I really liked your detailed description, Larry Hickman, but I believe that this line crossed the Big Four at Vernon, OH, not Hines. Also, I think you may be thinking of Hiles Tower, where the Big Four crossed the AC&Y.
In later years the Toledo Branch became the Carrothers Branch. Traffic continued from N. Carrothers interlocking (N&W) north to to Outer Yard in Walbridge,OH throughout the PC years. After Conrail trains like PITO,TOPI,MYEL and ELMY (Elkhart to Motor Yard)continued to run along with extra unit coal,steel,coke and grain trains. In '81 CR rerouted trains off the Ft.Wayne to the Carrothers Branch after a major re-hab or upgrade to the line. For about 2 years this was a pretty active line. In early '84 CR began shifting Toledo traffic to the Cleveland Line. PITO-B,TOPI,HYEL(Haselton Yard-Elkhart)and ELHY remained running until Dec '84. A chat with the Tiffin Op in '85 revealed that the line was OOS south or east of Bettsville. The Tiro Secondary from Toledo Jct. west to Tiro was still in use in the early PC era.