Toledo to Heath, OH

This abandoned railway began as the East Division of the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad. It was constructed around 1869 to connect Toledo to Corning, and later to points in West Virginia and southwestern Ohio. The West and East divisions branched out from Stanley Yard in Toledo, and reunited at Heath. This line boasted the world's first installation of Centralized Traffic Control, when the New York Central System (NYC) installed it at the interlocking tower in Fostoria to control a 40-mile segment of the line from Stanley to Berwick in 1927. The line later became part of the NYC, eventually having official ownership in 1937.

During the mid-20th century, as the railroad industry was in decline, the NYC sought out ways to reduce operating costs. Electing to reroute trains to the still-active western division, the NYC began to remove the eastern division. The line south of Bucyrus was discontinued in 1965. The remaining portion of the line was gone around the early 1980s, when Conrail elected to upgrade the western division and abandon what remained of the eastern division.

Only a small portion of the right-of-way is still in service, mainly as a line used to assist with operations out of Stanley Yard in Toledo. This small remnant runs just south of the town of Stony Ridge. Various parts of the line have been converted to rail-trails, and the remainder remains undeveloped. The interlocking tower at Fostoria which protected the T&OC with the LE&W line (also abandoned, east of Fostoria, see Sandusky to Fostoria) still stands, with a barely visible NYC "cigar logo", which can be viewed at the link below.

Looking north, the right-of-way is seen as it approaches US Rout...
Looking north, the right-of-way is seen as it approaches US Route 6. Photo by Aaron M.
Just past the former crossing with US Route 6, looking north.  T...
Just past the former crossing with US Route 6, looking north. The railbed has been obliterated at the former crossing of US-6 (no more "hump" in the road). This suggests that US-6 was rebuilt after the abandonment of the railroad. Photo by Aaron M.
Looking north in Stony Ridge is the grade crossing of the line w...
Looking north in Stony Ridge is the grade crossing of the line with US Route 20. The rails have been paved over here, and just below the crossing signals, is a sign that reads "EXEMPT". There was a depot in Stony Ridge; the remains of a possible platform next to the track suggest that the depot may have been located here. Photo by Aaron M.
Looking south in Stony Ridge, a milepost denoting 10 miles from ...
Looking south in Stony Ridge, a milepost denoting 10 miles from Toledo. Photo by Aaron M.
Looking north, a partially dismantled siding sits along the main...
Looking north, a partially dismantled siding sits along the mainline in Stony Ridge. The date stamps on the tracks read, "1953," while the tie plates are stamped "1944." Photo by Aaron M.
Looking north in Stony Ridge, the tracks end here.  Crossties an...
Looking north in Stony Ridge, the tracks end here. Crossties and various railroad hardware (tie plates, bolts, nuts) lie in place for about 500 feet behind the photo. Photo by Aaron M.
Looking south in Stony Ridge, the rails end just behind the phot...
Looking south in Stony Ridge, the rails end just behind the photo. Crossties and railroad hardware are in place, as pictured, for another 500 feet beyond where the photo was taken. Then the ROW, now just the raised rail-bed, disappears into vegetation on its way southward. Photo by Aaron M.

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