Prior to the early 1970's, this B&O line ran from Parkersburg WV to Zanesville OH Mostly in the Muskingum River valley. Some stong thunderstorms caused many washouts with some bridge damage in the early 1970's. It was only feasable to repair this line going to Relief Ohio near Waterford to service Ohio Power's Muskingum River coal fired power plant. All of the rail in Morgan County was removed. In the 80's or 90's, the remaining line was rehabed to welded rail. The future may be grim. The power plant is swithing to natural gas (2013).
I WAS THE ENGINEER ON THE LAST TRAIN CALLED TO RUN FROM ZANESVILLE OH TO PARKERSBURG W.VA. IN 1974. WE STOPPED AT PHILO TRAIN ORDER STATION & WAS TOLD OF A HUGE WASHOUT BELOW MALTA & WE HAD TO GO BACK TO ZANESVILLE, THE R.R. WAS NEVER OPENED ALL THE WAY AGAIN. WE WORKED ZANES. TO MALTA & PARKERSBURG TO RELIEF AFTER THAT.
Currently writing a book about B&O operations and facilities along the Ohio-Newark Division. Ralph-if possible please contact me Thanks Dave
This line was originally built between Zanesville, OH and Parkersburg, WV in the late 1880s, as the Zanesville and Ohio River. The route followed the western bank of the Muskingum River. It later became the Ohio & Little Kanawha, and was purchased by the B&O in the early 1900s. Daily local passenger service was provided on the line until about 1953, with through freight service until 1974, when the line was interrupted at Relief, OH by washouts. The Relief-Philo portion was removed in the early 1980s, and the Zanesville-Philo portion of the line was removed around 1992.
I was so sad when the trains stopped going through Barnesville, OH when I was younger. The tracks were our playground! Now there is a road where the tracks laid.