• The end for the B&O Indiana Division?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by cw cabin
What do you think would happen if say, CSX and UP would merge? Would the line then be viable? I'm refering to the B&O from Cincy to St. Louis. I remember at one time many years ago CSX did think of directional running. Say westbounds via Louisville and eastbounds over the B&O to Cincy. I think it still would be a mistake to abandon any remaining parts of the B&O. In the age of capacity issues I think it's use has not come to an end, but I know the inevitable most probably will happen. Like you said though, all of this may change tomorrow. There was some local "rumor" of NS getting the CSX line from Cincy to St. Louis as part of the split of Conrail. I wonder if NS could of used it for trains that run south to Danville then east to Louisville and onto St. Louis. I don't know what trains use that routing then or now. I was hoping the "rumors" were true because I knew the B&O would get the boot if they weren't.

  by catfoodflambe
I'd love to see it - but most of UP's traffic from the west runs via Chicago - again, UP won't run anything into STL that doesn't have to due to costs and congestion.

As far as traffic coming up from Texas and Louisiana- traffic for points south of Cincinnati would run into Nashville, which is CSX's loose-car focal point for the south. Traffic going east already goes into Avon yard for classification. If CSX/UP were to run the traffic into an already-stressed Queesgate yard, east coast traffic then has to run up to Sidney and pick up the STL-CLE main line, which adds a couple hundred miles to the straight-in routing via Indy. No gain there. Again - fine for overflow traffic and a little bit of traffic to flesh out freights bringing in cars for Cincy-Dayton local customers. but it's not the way CSX/UP would want to handle it long-term.

While traffic from UP sources routing over CSX lines would increase, much of the increase would balanced by the loss of traffic coming off the BNSF, which would certainly have to merge with NS.

Sadly, the Indiana Division's fate was more or less cast when the B&O main from Cincinnati to Grafton was abandoned - it's an east-west main with no eastern connection.

It's sad to watch - my grandfather, who lived near Brownstown, IN (between Seymour and Mitchell) and later North Vernon, IN, was an RPO clerk who ran the "Cin and Saint" over this line for 20-odd years. I spent many, many hours shagging up and down US 50 in pursuit of B&O freights. I also had the pleasure of riding the "George Washington" connection from Seymour to Cincinnati for my first real passenger train a couple of year before Amtrak.

Eventually, I think Mitchell-Aurora will share the same fate as the mainline in Southeastern Ohio, near where I live today - a few patches of track in place here and there, but mostly a gravel path.
  by O&MHistorian
Sad to hear that another section of the original route might be closed. I am currently researching the original constructors of the Cin and Saint line, the Ohio and Mississippi RR. They completed it in 1857. They built it as a 6 foot gauge, but converted it in 1871.

The fascinating thing is that they did the conversion (by moving both rails) of the entire 338 miles in ONE DAY. They also converted 28 locomotives on the same day.

It is this event which fascinates me and which will anchor a book I am preparing to write. Any info on the O&M which anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

  by cw cabin
It's not the end just yet. There are 3 westbound autoracks trains running early in the morning from Cincinnati to Seymour IN then they use trackage rights to Louisville. A 4th has been add to run for a couple of weeks due to track work on the LCL. There is an occational run through between St. Louis and Cincinnati. There is still traffic running from St. Louis to Mitchell IN then heads south to Louisville KY old Monon route. The only section that doesn't see much traffic is the Mitchell to Seymour section, a local runs from Mitchell to Seymour. CSX has been operating inspection trains and geometry trains over the entire line. The rumor mill is buzzing. Everything from Powder River Coal trains, to intermodel trains, to haulage agreements with western carriers. The last ones may have a little more merit. The Chicago and Memphis gateways are congested. This may be a good alternitive route for aome of that traffic.
Only time will tell. I just hope that CSX doesn't make a mistake and rip out sections of this line. Only to find out later that they really could of used it one day to it's fullest potential. Once a line is gone it's gone for ever.
As far as info on the O&M try the Railroads of Cincinnati site at http://www.cincyrails.com/ that site should help in your questions. Contact the web master there he has an abundance supply of info for you.
  by O&MHistorian
There may be some good news yet for this line. Billy White, CEO of B-W Services out of Louisiana, has just signed up to buy the old O&M / B&O yards (Shops at Washington) for the purpose of rebuilding rail cars. The last user of the facility was Rescar. I've walked all through the old shops just a few weeks ago and trackage is still there, two of the huge old buildings, as well as a lateral transfer system. They are in disrepair but it would be grand if they could be restored and used.

I don't know how much traffic there might be in and out or even if it would mean much to the line.

Thanks to CW Cabin for the O&M information and the link.

Dale Waller