New York Central/Big Four to Columbus - Norfolk Southern, Dayton District, Central Division
Former CCC & St. L (Big For)/New York Central to Columbus
Standard gauge line opened in 1872
Downtown terminal: Central Union Depot (3rd Street & Central Avenue)
Line begins at Ivorydale (St. Bernard) and heads north via Sharonville, Middletown, and Dayton
In active use
In 1872, the Cincinnati & Springfield Railroad began operating over a somewhat indirect route between its namesake cities in order to serve the industrial centers of Dayton and Middletown. It connected with the Marietta & Cincinnati's newly opened extension to downtown from St. Bernard, at what would later be called Ivorydale Junction. The road was quickly snatched up by the newly formed Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis Railroad, of which the Mad River and Lake Erie was a parent. Closely paralleling the CH&D through the Mill Creek Valley, this new company also used the Indianapolis & Cincinnati's Plum Street Station and later Central Union Depot with the Marietta. During the Penn Central years, the Big Four east of London was downgraded and mainline trains were routed onto former Pennsylvania track, an arrangement still in use today, and the track east of London has been largely abandoned. Despite reroutings and changing traffic patterns north of Cincinnati, the line through the Mill Creek Valley remains very busy. The large Sharon yard used to be the major classification facility, but it has been demoted in recent years in favor of the Queensgate area, though it still has several tracks in use.
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