This line was originally part of a much longer line constructed from Salamanca, New York to Dayton, Ohio, by the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad during 1862-1863. The line later fell into receivership and became the New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio Railroad. It was leased by the Erie Railroad after, and was eventually merged into the Erie during the 1940s. In 1960, the line changed ownership again when the Erie and the Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western merged to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. It would operate as the EL for almost 16 years before undergoing one final change in ownership when it became part of Conrail. As with most EL properties in Indiana, Conrail shut the line down in 1980.
This portion of the line between West Salem and Rittman was taken up in 1983, with a small portion remaining in Sterling. Around 2011, the surviving right-of-way (except nearly all of the section between Sterling Road and Kauffman Avenue in Sterling) was converted by Rails-To-Trails of Wayne County into the County Line Trail, which parallels the active CSX (ex-B&O) for most of its length.
Visitors to the right-of-way today may find a few surviving mileposts and several whistle posts (see pictures). Between Creston and West Salem, the EL right of way is almost completely overgrown and unused. Talks of extending the trail all the way to West Salem have come and gone throughout the years, the largest barrier to which is the crossing with a very busy state highway (Ohio Route 83) less than 100 feet north of the Wayne/Medina County line, so it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
The line west of West Salem is today operated by the Ashland Railway, while the line east of Rittman is operated by the ABC (Akron Barberton Cluster) Railway, part of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company.