• Xenia

  • 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 midland sub
I was watching Channel 7 in Dayton on Monday and a fire destroyed part of the remaining buildings of Hooven & Allison, the last rail customer in Xenia. When I drove by it this time last year it looked like they had been closed for several years, anyone know when they closed?

  by 262
I would think it has to be at least 4 or 5 years.My uncle was a Millwright at Hooven and Allision,they made Hemp Rope.He said when the U.S.Navy stopped using natural fiber rope that was the end.Oddly enough he now works at the Dura-Max Diesel Engine Plant in Moraine City,Ohio.Which is the site where The Frigidaire Division of General Motors Plant#3 used to be,I worked in Frigidaire Plant#2.Next door,it is now the S10 truck plant.My services were no longer needed in March 1978.I headed to The Sunshine State.When I am up that way I like to go by the plant and see NS Moraine Yard.And the ruins of Clement Yard on The Pensey to Xeina.I read on The Hobo's Guide Site.That the last use of Clement Yard was to store the high cube box cars for the Frigidaire Plant.
  by brokenrail
RailMike wrote:Approximate abandonment dates for the rail lines through Xenia:

B&O: The line was officially abandoned in 1981 or 82. In 1984, when I first went to see "Blue Jacket", an outdoor drama located not far from the tracks, the grade crossing was freshly asphalted over and crossties were neatly stacked. Some months earlier, the company ripping up this line was selling, in Dayton, these very same ties for landscaping.

Pennsy Panhandle: I first noticed the tracks alongside US-35 in Beavercreek missing rails, with some bridges removed, in early 1990. But exactly two rails were removed near the Woodman Dr. overpass in 1987. Even so, I thought I'd heard the last locomotive was taken out of Xenia in 1989. Not sure what year the line east of town was taken out, but I remember seeing the signals still lit in 87 or 88. I thought I heard they remained lit until the very end.

Pennsy Little Miami line: The street-running segment of the line on US-68 was discontinued in either 1962 or 64. Between there and the last customer south of Yellow springs, the line was probably ripped up in the 1960s. Between Yellow Springs and Springfield, the track was ripped up in 1983. This line had a street-running segment in Springfield (as did the still-operating NYC mainline, which was routed off the street by 1990) which is now blocked by some large performing-arts type building.

South of Xenia, the Little Miami line was severed somewhere to the south and gradually whittled back to town throughout the 1980s. Though I don't known the exact dates, it was ripped up near King's Island in 1983 and gone north of Waynesville in 1985.
According to "Next Stop! Xenia" the B&O timeline is thus: 1932--last passenger service, 1981--last through freights, 1982--last revenue freight, 1983--line abandoned, track removed in Feb and March.

On the PRR side: 1953--last gas-electric car Springfield to Xenia, 1967--last train on Detroit St. ending service Yellow Springs to Xenia. 1968--June 2 (4 months after PC merger) passenger service via Little Miami was routed through Springfield (NYC) Columbus-Cincinnati. 1976--LM south of Spring Valley abandoned. 1979--Amtrak service (St. Louis--New York) stops running through Xenia on Dayton-Columbus route. 1984 (12/27) Last through freight. 1986 (9/15) Last Conrail local freight in Xenia (from Dayton).

  by brokenrail
Alloy wrote:I was impressed that one street ran on a truss bridge that spanned the entire yard. Even then, the bridge looked decrepit, although I think that it was still open. (This was around 1967).

Growing up, I mistakedly thought that the Little Miami was the main line from Cincinnati to Columbus, and that the line to Dayton was "the branch."
It was a shock to hear that they were tearing up the Little Miami--when I left in 1972, it was still operating, I believe. I thought it would always be a major route. It sounds like the segment through Spring Valley to Roxanna survived the longest.

Thanks again for all the info!
From "Next Stop! Xenia": ". . .the Monroe Street Viaduct . . .was moved to Xenia by train from Johnstown, PA following the famous Johnstown Flood of 1889. . . . The viaduct was closed to traffic in 1968 and torn down in 1987."

Historically you were right. The Little Miami originally was part of a Cincinnati/Xenia/Springfield route that with the Mad River and Lake Erie (Springfield to Sandusky) was the first rail/water connection from Cincinnati to New York. In a short time the Columbus and Xenia were built and then a connection from Columbus to Cleveland and an all rail connection to New York followed. The Little Miami took over the C&X and later it all became part of the PRR. Thus the original LM north of Xenia enjoyed a very short period of being part of the mainline and soon became a branch of the Columbus to Cincinnati main. The Dayton and Xenia and the Dayton & Western came under Little Miami control and later the PRR. I think the Columbus-Xenia-Cincinnati route may have seen more traffic than the Columbus-Xenia-Dayton-Indianapolis under the PRR but I am not sure of this. At any rate Xenia was an important junction between the two lines. With the PC merger trains through Xenia for Cincinnati were routed to Dayton and former NYC to Cincinnati. By 1984 Conrail routed all traffic via Springfield on the former NYC London--Cincinnati.

  by Alloy
the Monroe Street Viaduct . . .was moved to Xenia by train from Johnstown, PA following the famous Johnstown Flood of 1889. . . . The viaduct was closed to traffic in 1968 and torn down in 1987."
That's quite a story. I would never have thought that transporting such a huge bridge would be cost effective. Poor thing got to see two major natural disasters in its time--the flood and then the tornado.

Thanks for the other info on the Little Miami, Brokenrail. Interesting that you think there might have been more traffic on the line to Cincinnati, rather than to Indianapolis.

  by catfoodflambe
It's possible he's correct- rmember that PRR's Columbus-Indy freight route was the Chicago main as far west as Bradford, OH, then southwest through Greenville to Richmond, IN. Dayton-Richmond didn't see too much beyond the passenger trains

- Clement Hill on the east side of Dayton required helpers or extrra units for eastbound freights.
- Only one passing siding in the 40-odd miles between Dayton and Richmond.
- I -think- that two separate freight crews were required via Dayton, whereas one crew could handle Columbus-Richmond via Bradford.

PC quickly moved many of their Cincinnati trains off the Little Miami. Usually just two pairs of trains ran south of Xenia. Both of these connected with the L&N over the old L&N bridge east of downtown Cincinnati, and thus had to terminate at Undercliff yard -running via the LM avoided the chaos of Sharonville yard in Cincinnati and the need for a transfer crew to handle the train betweetn the yards. The remaining traffic was shifted to the ex-NYC main via Springfield and Dayton. Due to capacity problems (the single-track line east of Springfield in particular) PC got into the habit of running those trains westbound via Xenia, down Clement Hill into Dayton, and then over the NYC into Cincinnati. Eastbounds tended to run via Springfield.

At the same time, the Bradford-Richmond line was decomissoned due to worn-out rail. PC began running a few Columbus-Indy trains via Dayton, primarily to pick up and drop blocks at Dayton going to and from western connections at Indy. They managed to negotiate an agreement for a couple of crews to run Columbus-Dayton-Indy/Richmond per day.

Thus - there would have been a noticeable shift in the number of trains running west of Xenia instead of south in a very short period of time.

  by brokenrail
I remember Dayton to Indianapolis as lightly used in the '70's. I thought most Columbus--Indianapolis traffic went Columbus--Union City (PRR) and Union City--Indianapolis (NYC) after the merger. Of course by then the Little Miami was toast as a through route. I'm thinking that in pre merger days the LM had more traffic than Xenia--Indianapolis. It is interesting to think that originally (and briefly) The north--south route through Xenia was king, then the south--east route and eventually the east--west route.

  by catfoodflambe
brokenrail - you are correct in that the -primary- Columbus-Indy freight route changed over to Union City (in early 1973, I think).

I believe that in PRR days, a Richmond crew ran a daily Dayton Turn to move western traffic to and from the Dayton-Xenia area. The cars were then plugged into the mainline trains at Richmond. If traffic was down, it moved to Cincy or Columbus in regular freights - but this called for extra handling and at least a day's delay.

The move to Union City dried up the Richmond connections - the cars now had to get to and from Avon Yard in Indianapolis to make western connections. This is why PC negotiated for the "through crews" and set up two pairs of through freights via Dayton. I had understood (corrections appreciated if needed!) these were bid runs, with the crews getting paid whether the schedules ran or not. As a result, if traffic warranted only one train, PC would run an overhead train via Dayton to avoid wasting a crew. The Trailvans were popular candidates for this treatment, as they could run Indy-Columbus with ease, would not have problems with the one-setout/pickup-per-trip rule, and handle Clement Hill without helpers. In fact, I think that at some point this became the preferred routing for at least one of the TV schedules.

  by 262
And also,the DT&I trackage rights,that originally were Springfield,Xeina and Cincinnati via the Little Miami.After the NYC,PRR merger were now run Springfield,Dayton and Cincinnati via the NYC.The DT&I run- thrus I saw in the late sixtys on PRR at Clement Yard,were all TOFC.There are some good threads on the Wellston Sub on the Yahoo B&O Southwestern see,(Carton Siding) and others. One poster that worked the sub says,the Wellston got a real work out right before its abandonment,to detour traffic around Cincinnati in prepairation for the Queensgate Project.

  by the missing link
off the little miami,from morrow to trinway what pennsy line was that?when was that last run?

  by 262
I have seen this line reffered to as the Morrow Sub,and the Morrow Secondary.There are some good threads about this line at the B&0 Southwestern site on Yahoo.Also see the site A Hobo's Guide to The Pennsey they have a history of every PRR line ,an a seachable archive fourm.the B&0 S.W. is also searchable.

  by Hoosierailnut
I heard the Richmond/Dayton section also had a grade east of Richmond near New Paris as well. On the way home from Hamilton, Ohio we took I 70 and we passed over, I think the old right of way of the PRR Richmond,Dayton line.
  by Lucentio
Most freight traffic between Columbus and Indianapolis on PRR

operated via Bradford

due to lower grades

AND crews got a higher rate of pay when they operated via Dayton!
  by cblafferty
Ref your question about E.C. Moorman -- yes, you're correct. Ed Moorman was my father, and I well remember his territory!
  by TKramer15
I'm really intrigued by the former Xenia railroad setup. Born in the Dayton area in 1983, I vividly remember being in the car with my mom while stopped at the Fairfield Road crossing in Beavercreek for a slow moving train. I was really into trains and was old enough to remember this, so it seems like it had to be in the mid-late 80s. According to some posts, it sounds like the last Conrail train on that line was supposedly in September 1986. I would've been three years old. I also recall eating at Bob Evans on US-35 in Xenia (no longer there) right next to where that track crossed. Does anyone remember the setup for that crossing and others in Xenia or Beavercreek (Lights and gates or lights/no gates?) Are there any photos of trains from the Conrail era on that Dayton-Xenia line?