Bradford, OH to Indianapolis, IN

Reset
Terrain
Roadmap
Satellite
Point of Interest

Map submitted by Aaron M.

(Forwarded from the Richmond & Covington Railroad)

This abandoned railway line began life in 1863 as the Richmond and Covington Railroad. Its terminus in Ohio was in Bradford at the junction with the Columbus to Chicago Main Line (also abandoned, see Columbus, OH to Ridgeville, IN). It eventually became part of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, itself becoming officially part of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1921. The PRR merged with the NYC in 1968 to become the Penn Central, subsequently becoming Conrail in 1976.

It is not entirely clear when the line was actually abandoned, however, since the Columbus to Chicago Main Line was abandoned circa 1983, it is probable the line was abandoned at the same time, if not earlier. Today, the interlocking tower still stands at Bradford, where the mainline splits; pictures can be found here.

Thanks to Aaron M. for contributing information about this route.

According to Scott Trostel (a local rail historian), the branch connecting Bradford to Richmond (actually New Paris) was abandoned between Greenville and New Paris before the rest of the line. The line from Columbus to Chicago was abandoned in 1985. The branch left from Bradford to Greenville was pulled up a few months before the main.

Brian Spirito
Englewood, OH
3/4/2009

____________________

Thanks so much for your ambition and educating me.

When I was growing up, all I wanted to see was the colorful engines of UP, SP, BN SF,etc.

Now, I am 53, and would love to see a Black and White PC darting to Columbus, Ohio.

Thanks,<br />Future friend,<br />Rex W. Bonham

Rex W. Bonham
Fairland, IN
3/31/2009

____________________

My friends and I grew up walking the tracks many a day between Bradford and Greenville. When in college, I waited at the railroad crossing in Gettysburg while a train was slowly going through(1972-75; can't remember the year for sure) and they were pulling up the tracks behind it. I guess that was absolutely the last train to go through and I witnessed the end of an era. Can anyone tell me where I can find information documenting a wreck on the line that I observed west of Gettysburg around 1968?

Tom
Gettysburg, OH
7/4/2009

____________________

I use to hangout with charley hildabrand at the tower.i was 16 or 17.taking pictures watching trains was fun and interesting.the local use to let me ride around the interlocking.art stephen who lived in covington.and bob wombold use to work the local frequenly.i have photos i can email just give email.address.

chris francis
greenville ohio, OH
9/5/2011

____________________

i lived by the tracks in greenville.there is hill which runs from cental ave down to the praire.i remember trains penn central pulling freghts and passinger trains go by at 70 mph.this part of the line greenvile to ansonia is still there.rc corman runs a local.

chris francis
grennville, OH
9/5/2011

____________________

i am very interested in a train wreck that supposedly happened here at one time. I grew up in Covington,ohio and will never forget the sound of the train going through town about 11pm nightly ant info would be greatly appreciated as i am doing some reseach at this time thanks bunches

debbie thomas
new madison, OH
2/28/2012

____________________

As for pulling up the tracks in the early 70's mentioned by Tom from Gettysburg, they were pulling up the second track. The remaining track was pulled up in spring 1985. I have looke for the info on the 1968 derailment and haven't found any. Usually you can find train derailment information from the NTSB reports. They are typically very detailed. I haven't found this one yet.

Brian S.
Troy, OH
11/7/2012

____________________

I remember being in the tower with Deo Go down , Charlie Hildebrand,Bill Vanculin. Old Deo was always spit shining his shoes . We would play car poker>using the car numbers.

Then I remember the day of June 20th 1985 when the very last train ever to go through Bradford. It was very emotional seeing the rails disappearing behind that train . The end of an era I never thought would happen did.

Jack Manning
Bradford, OH
11/20/2012

____________________

It was the year 1985,the 19th day of March the last train went over the Harris street crossing. How I remember in the hot summer nights hearing the wheels going over the splices of the rails, and the switches in the east yards. the wheels sang .So sad it all is gone.

Jack Manning
troy, OH
11/20/2012

____________________

When I was little, my grandpa Crosby let me operate a train and blow the whistle at the crossings. I will never forget it.

Brenda Crosby
Bradford , OH
12/2/2012

____________________

I remember walking toward Covington with my mom and sister picking blackberries,raspberries, or strawberries. We would have buckets to carry the fruit in. I remember the trains years ago also. We lived on E. Main St across from the railroad tracks

betty vetters
sidney, OH
12/2/2012

____________________

I remember walking to school on Miami Ave. stopping at the little shannie talking to Mr. Peoples. Some years later his youngest and I would walk the tracks out to one of his son's house. Some of us used to play in the round house. I sure do miss the old depot and round house the most.

Linda Vernon
Bradford, OH
12/4/2012

____________________

I remember two derailments in Covington Ohio..one was in the early 70's or late 60's and one in about 1980 . I have pics of both .

jack manning
bradford/troy, OH
12/10/2012

____________________

I made it out there way too late. The line had just been pulled (1985). I am delighted to see the line being developed as a rail-trail, and I am making trips out there to ride them. The line from Bradford to Richmond was the very antithesis of the "Standard Railroad of the World"... Single-tracked. Having lived a mile from downtown Latrobe for my whole life, we had 30 PASSENGER trains a day running through here in each direction on 4 busy mains, according to a 1951 PRR employee timetable. Fortunately, NS has left us with a stripped-down, 2-track but still very active freight main, and we still have (narrowly missed abandonment on 10/1/13) one passenger train a day each way. I was very distressed to see how they tore out the entire right-of-way in Piqua. The elevation and depot construction was very similar to what we still have out here in Latrobe, right down to the overpass configurations. I can't imagine how terrible it must feel to just remember those trains running out there. I hear ours all night rumbling through, horns blowing, 24/7. The old New York - St. Louis Amtrak National Limited used to run Pennsy's Xenia-Dayton "passenger main", but folks out at the Marion, Ohio club (a great bunch of guys) rode the Bradford "freight main" on National Limited detour trains. So you guys even had an occasional PASSENGER train until its withdrawal in late 1979! And so went the entire 79mph Columbus-Richmond-Indianapolis "raceway."... So sad.

Rich Ballash
Latrobe, PA
10/27/2013

____________________

Oh, and we too had the great fortune of meeting old Charlie Hildebrand... Just by luck, and for very brief evening, at "Dayton" Tower, in that little trackside brick building just east of the Dayton station complex, as we were scouring the region to document Conrail's fast disappearing manned interlocking towers. Charlie welcomed us in to see the little CTC machine that was still controlling the Dayton area complex, and he was swearing (literally) every other word as he told us how he despised the old New York Central Railroad. He was quite definitely an old Pennsy man! Supposedly, Charlie had bought Pennsy's old Greenville depot for preservation, but it burned to the ground (Anybody know when?). Great guys, all those tower operators... We met over a hundred of them between 1984 and 1991. Then it was all gone... Sigh. And now, just like the railroad out there, it's all just history. Hard to believe, a cab-signalled (Note that little crossbar atop thos remaining telegraph poles), high speed main line... Now a dirt path. And it's awesome to see that President Lincoln's funeral train ran this route 148 years ago!

Rich Ballash
Latrobe, PA
10/27/2013

____________________

I have a couple old pics that my dad took of the aftermath of a terrible train wreck in that vicinity sometime around 1940, I'd guess. I'd like to know the actual date (at least the year) and any other explanatory data anyone can share. I can upload the pics if anyone is interested.

Tom Stover
34 Hammock Cove, Eastpoint, FL
4/18/2014

____________________

I grew up North of Fletcher, actually somewhat neighbors with Scott Trostel. I remember hearing trains roaring from Conover through Fletcher! Although I narrowly missed the action as I didn't develop a real interest in trains until late 1985, just after the rails were pulled up. Now that I'm in my mid 40's and settled down, bought a beautiful home with my wife and the kids are grown, I'm seriously contemplating modeling the panhandle between Columbus to just points west of Bradford!

Steve Redinbo
Springfield , OH
2/17/2015

____________________

Chris,I would be interested in your pictures,if you would be so kind to email them to me.

The Panhandle always fascinated me.

Thanks

Carl

Carl Kopchak
Grafton, OH
1/20/2016

____________________

The accident in Bradford happened on May 21, 1939. There is a detailed ICC report link on the Bradford Railroad Museum website. The crash happened west of town by Zerber Road. Two trains left Logansport travelling east one right after the other. When the first train got west of Bradford, it stopped and the engine cut off and went into town for water. They did not adequately protect the rear end and the following train rear-ended it in the dark and fog. A short time later, another train going east came on the adjacent track and ran into the wreckage. 4 people were killed and 4 injured. The ICC report is a really interesting read.

Brian S.
Troy, OH
1/20/2016

____________________

Brian S from Troy, thanks for posting the details of the 1939 train wreck. You've given me info I had unsuccessfully searched for. Now I can update the caption of that train wreck photo that I have in my slide display system. It's an amazing photo, incidentally, showing an entire locomotive atop a huge pile of wreckage.

Tom Stover
EASTPOINT, FL
1/23/2016

____________________

Grew up in Bradford, family bought a farm there in 1976. Dad is gone, but Mom still lives there. Dad bought part 20 acres of the old railroad property than runs out east of Bradford many years ago. I can still remember watching the trains at the back of the field. We walk back there, my brother keeps a trail cleared out that we use. Most landmarks are gone, but you can still find the hump track hill and a cement foundation there and just sit back and imagine. I think all 4 of us kids have a copy of Scott Trostel's book "Bradford the Railroad Town." I lend it out to people who are interested in what used to be in Bradford, and they usually come away amazed at what used to be.

Keith K
Anna, OH, OH
4/15/2016

____________________

Grew up in Bradford, family bought a farm there in 1976. Dad is gone, but Mom still lives there. Dad bought part 20 acres of the old railroad property than runs out east of Bradford many years ago. I can still remember watching the trains at the back of the field. We walk back there, my brother keeps a trail cleared out that we use. Most landmarks are gone, but you can still find the hump track hill and a cement foundation there and just sit back and imagine. I think all 4 of us kids have a copy of Scott Trostel's book "Bradford the Railroad Town." I lend it out to people who are interested in what used to be in Bradford, and they usually come away amazed at what used to be.

Keith K
Anna, OH, OH
4/15/2016

____________________


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/t8e
Share: Bookmark this on Delicious

Do you have any pictures or information about Bradford, OH to Indianapolis, IN? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.