The PY&A Secondary Branch
This line began in 1853 as the Ashtabula and New Lisbon Railroad. The U.S. Civil War and economic circumstances delayed its construction, and it was completed after the war. After several reorganizations and mergers, it was consolidated along with several lines to become the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Ashtabula (PY&A). Also during this time, the line came under ownership of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Afterwards, it became known as the PY&A Secondary Branch. After the 1968 merger of the New York Central (NYC) and the PRR, this line became redundant to the NYC's superior Youngstown Branch. It was abandoned in 1975.
Today, a portion from North Warren to Niles is still in use. Otherwise, much of the ROW has been developed into a RailTrail, The Western Reserve Greenway running from Ashtabula to Warren.
Thanks to Aaron M. for contributing information.
This is a beautiful multi purpose trail, as it is paved, wide and flat. We like to crank the big ring on our road tandem, as the Greenway is usually lightly traveled. Darkness comes up quick in the evenings and it gets DARK if you don't have a light. Be sure to take your own snacks and water.
Through my teen years I spent a lot of time at North Warren tower. This is where the PY&A crossed the EL's main line on the north side of Warren, Oh.
The PY&A was a coal conveyor to the port of Ashtabula. Iron ore was handled south (eastbound) out of Ashtabula for the mills in the Youngstown area and Pittsburgh area.
Pennsylvania "Lines West" developed a steam locomotive specifically designed for this line along with the E&P. It was the N-1s class 2-10-2. It was designed and built at Fort Wayne, Indiana. These were slow engines and probably good for only 30 mph. which was just fine for the intended service.
These locomotives were later supplanted by I-1sa 2-10-0's toward the end of steam.
It should be noted the through-truss bridge over Clay Street in Austinburg did not serve the PY&A RR. Though the Western Reserve Greenway trail does follow the PY&A route, this bridge originally served motor vehicle traffic before being moved from Mill Creek Road. It was installed as a safety measure for trail users to cross Clay St.
i always thought this line went thru Andover and up to Dorset and then Ashtabula- what line was that? I believe it connected with the line that went into Jamestown, P-A. can someone set me straight on that??
Swimmerbob the line you are thinking of is(was)the NYC Franklin Division there is a page about it on this sight.