(Forwarded from the Passenger Belt Railroad)
The National City Bank building in Ashland, KY, was once the passenger terminal for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. The front of the bank and other items around it point to its former railroad heritage. Photo by Brian Milem, July 2008.
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I am researching the C&O in Kentucky. I grew up in Lexington and remember C&O had a small yard off Winchester Rd. Passenger lines were pulled up before I was born (1967) but the ROW is still visible in many locations in downtown. The line boasted the George Washington that originated in Baltimore (I think), stopped in Huntington, WV., Ashland with stop-overs in Olive Hill, Mt. Sterling, Winchester, Lexington (at the old Union Depot which was demolished sometime in the late 60's), Midway, Frankfort and ending in Louisville. From Lexington, the C&O shared trackage with the L&N.
The yard was named Netherland Yard, the coaling tower is still there used for aggregate storage for a construction company. The last depot used by C&O in LExington is now a church. What is left of the line is now operated by RJ Corman to serve customers onPalumbo Drive
In May of 1967, I graduated from Staunton Military Academy on the old C&O line at Staunton,VA., then in September of that year, moved up the line to Columbus, Ohio to Ohio Starte University for my freshman 1st (and last) semester.
I had left behind a girlfriend at Fairfax Girl's Finishing School at Waynesboro, VA, a year my junior, in her senior year there that fall.
She invited me down to the daddy-daughter dance in October, which I rode the C&O down to attend. We had a falling out and I walked right back down the hill from the hotel where we disagreed and walked back to the Waynesboro C&O Station (now very gone with few remains).
I caught the night train back to Columbus on my roundtrip ticket and was placed in the end day coach across the aisle from a sweet little witch who cast her spell and I soon found myself offering her a libation in the lounge car. We headed northwest all the while and ere I knew what I was about, found myself face up in her lap gazing up into her eyes beneath her bangs. I became aware that it was very quiet, very still and that we were not rolling. We were in the lounge-diner car, which after dinner had been dropped off with one of the E unit diesels idling. I looked out the window and think I remember seeing the signboard for Ashland, Kentucky. I sensed the urgency for action, excused myself and ripped down the gangway to the ground and made a run to the humming diesel which was uplad of us and the station (northward). The story rolled out of my mouth and the question, how can we get hooked back up to our train and still make it to Columbus? It must have been early am and the engineer made a call to the other part of the train, they arranged for us to meet on a wye west of there. The engineer told me to run back to the lounge, lie low and get ready to rock and roll. We raced backwards down the track to his turnaround, then back out onto a connecting route and were doing over a hundred, with the car rocking from side to side and lots of friction screeching to be heard. The air horn was bellering continually and we came sppeding to a wide open place near the river, which I recognized as a wye configuration. The porter came back through the companionway and instructed us to get ready to leap from the car and sprint across the distance as it narrowed to the end of the last car, where we would be lifted aboard the other train. We did so, with me holding the girl basket style until she could run, then I scooped her up and tossed hwer into the arms of the waiting conducter on the approaching train at 5 miles per hour. By the time it wsas my turn, he had already started to accelerate and pull away from me, but I hotfooted it and caught the grabiron at the last moment by one hand and pulled myself aboard tio the waiting conductors' hands. Where was this trackage? It seems like you are the only person in the world I could ask. My sixtieth birthday is this June 14th, and I'm putting some of my memoirs together. I'm trying to place this incident and think it might have been the original C&O passender depot at Ashland, Kentucky. Any help?
The rest of the story? I walked back to my original seat across the aisle from the girl, whose mother was fast asleep on a pillow, never having missed us that we could tell. We both sacked out until Columbus. When we left the train and were passing each other on the platform, the girl wrenched away from her mother, jumped into my arms and placed a great big kiss on me. I never even asked her name. We just parted company, free as birds and very satisfied with our little secret.
Rory: A bit late, but you need to visit COHS.org and bone up on your facts. To further your interest in the C&O you may want to consider joining the COHS. It's a great deal and a great organization.
Panama City, FL
My father was general foreman, passenger division At the Ashland location till he died in 1962; As a child I spent many times at that station. Connected to the station was a large coach yard, roundhouses and a turntable; President Eisenhower's funeral train stopped at this station in March of 1969; I remember my dad taking me to see a troop train pass thru which may have been during the Cuban Missle Event in 1962 just before he died.
Train #21 would arrive from Louisville around 8-830pm; Within a half hour #2 out of Cincinnati would come flying into the station with sparks flying form the brakes. Crossing signals would go down all the way up the mainline in case the train overshot the station. The 2 trains would be combined in about 20 minutes, the signal would be given, mars lights on the lead engine would revolve, signals would go down and the train would start moving. For years after my dad died his co workers would always take me around to watch the process.
Every summer My mother and I would take #47 at 500am out of Ashland to Plymouth Michigan to visit family. I last rode that train in 1970;
The station itselg was huge. There were tunnels under the tracks so passengers would not have to walk across the tracks. The station had a concession stand that sold newspapers and some food. The ticket counter was in the main lobby also. As the trains would arrive someone would be on the loudspeaker annoucing tthe arrival.
I remember the trains were great to ride on. I really believe this country needs to start rebuilding a rail passenger system that works with the airlines.
I am looking for any information anyone might have on the C&O trains that once passed through Morehead Kentucky. The Original Freight Station and Passenger Station still stand today but the current city council and tourism committees are looking for ways to have the Freight Station demolished. I would like to know when the structure was built and what kind of cargo was passing through or any other important historical facts about this building and the railway. Thanks.
I was in the Navy and had to go to training station in Florida. I had to go under the track at this station I think went under to second track or third track, I boarded L&N it was a very old car.This was in July of 1964. I can't find where L&N was on this track on any time tables. Who 's right of way is this going toward Morehead KY please help
My son and I are researching family information regarding my father's biological mother. We know she was born in Ashland KY in 1908, and her father was manager of the round-house in Ashland for the C&O at that time. Would appreciate any information anyone has....we're running into a lot of dead ends.
Do you have any pictures or information about Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Passenger Terminal? Please