This abandoned railway was built in 1869 by the Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw Railroad (later the Fort Wayne and Jackson Railroad by 1880) in order to connect Fort Wayne, IN, with Jackson, MI, to the north. The line came under the control of the Lake Shore and Michigan Railroad in 1882 and then the New York Central shortly after, who continued operations thereover.
This line was abandoned in two segments. The first was between Waterloo and Steubenville. The NYC removed the diamond at Waterloo in mid-1960s just before the Penn Central merger. The remainder of the line was abandoned by Penn Central, with the tracks being removed in the early 1970s. Only small parts of the line in downtown Fort Wayne were used for local traffic until the end of Conrail. Finally, Norfolk Southern abandoned the rest and pulled the tracks right after the split of Conrail property between NS and CSX.
The diamond with the Wabash Railroad at Steubenville is gone; today a wye remains, operated by the Indiana Northeastern Railroad. A portion of the right-of-way (between Fort Wayne and Auburn) is destined to become the Pufferbelly rail-trail. Despite the absence of rails and ties, a number of bridges exist along the abandoned right-of-way, as noted on the map.
See also Bankers to Jackson, in Michigan.
Thanks to Mike Fromholt, Richard Roberts for contributing information.
I have stocks for the Fort Wayne & Jackson Railroad Company. I found them in the atick of a house thaat was left to me. I am assuming they are no good, do you have any knowledge on the matter?
My father, Donald Baals, passed away in June 2013. Dad was born in Fort Wayne in 1916 and his father, Harry W. Baals, was Mayor of Fort Wayne in the early fifties. Among dad's possessions was a chrome plated 1/4-inch slice of rail with an 11/16 dia. X 1 1/2-inch knob screwed to the web. It was obviously used as a paper weight as the chrome plating on the bottom is worn through to the copper sub plating in two places. On the top is stamped "ENGLAND". A persons name maybe? Below this is the year, 1866. Below the knob is stamped 1868 and along the bottom are the stamped 1/4-inch letters F.W.J & S.R.R. I don't have any history on why dad kept this memento but I could envision this sitting on my grandfather's desk as mayor of Fort Wayne.
The segment from Auburn Junction to just north of 7th street in Auburn is still in use by Auburn Port Authority. CSX delivers a couple cars a month to Rieke.