Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana - Indiana Eastern Railroad
Former Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana to Cottage Grove, IN
Standard gauge line opened in stages between 1902 and 1910
Downtown terminal: 8th & McLean, then Baymiller Street Station (5th & Baymiller Streets), then 4th Street Station (4th Street between Smith and John)
Dismantled south of Fernald in 1979, in limited use north of Fernald
The construction of this railroad rounded out the Cincinnati terminal system upon its completion in 1904. The Cincinnati, Richmond and Muncie Railroad was incorporated in 1900 to build a new line to Chicago on the shortest route between the two cities. Two other companies were formed to carry out the construction, and upon reaching Griffith, Indiana in June 1904, the three companies were merged to form the Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville Railroad. Plans to reach Louisville via the north bank of the Ohio River and Madison Indiana were never realized due to a lack of traffic and capital. A small combined freight and passenger station was built at 8th and McLean, at the east end of the 8th Street Viaduct. While the road did achieve its goal of the shortest route to Chicago, they were not able to draw much traffic away from the already established competitors. The route through South Fairmount, Westwood, Bridgetown, Dent, and Fernald required navigating torturous terrain. The rugged hillside along South Fairmount necessitated building 9 wooden trestles, more than any other local railroad in such a short length. These were eventually replaced with steel trestles, but the 1.9% grade through here made freight handling a problem. The long climb out of the Mill Creek Valley was all for naught too, as the railroad then had to descend into and climb out of the Great Miami River Valley as well. These factors made the helpless railroad an easy target for others looking to expand their empire. The CH&D acquired control shortly after the line opened in July 1904. Failed expectations led to receivership in 1908 and it was sold at foreclosure to the C&O in 1910. From then on it operated as a subsidiary, the C&O of Indiana.
The small combined station at 8th and McLean served a rather short life as a passenger station. When taken over by the CH&D, passengers were transferred to Baymiller Street, and eventually to the C&O's 4th Street Station in 1910 after they purchased the line. The main yard in the Cincinnati area was the Summit/Cheviot yard, today the location of Glenway Crossing, a long climb for trains coming from either direction. The difficulty of operating over the rugged western hills, and declining freight tonnage in general led to the abandonment of the line south of Fernald by the Chessie System (successors to the C&O) in 1979. Reconstruction of the massive Queensgate Yards was another impetus for abandonment, as the long steel trestle to South Fairmount was in the way of track expansion. CSX eventually succeeded the Chessie System, and the current operator, the Indiana Eastern Railroad, commenced operation of the remainder of the line on August 27, 2005 when it leased it from CSX. With cleanup of the Fernald property completed, the fate of the road in Hamilton County is uncertain. The only remaining customers in Ohio appear to be the chemical plants on New Haven Road, and the tracks currently end a few hundred feet south of there.
Photographs from South Fairmount to Crosby Township
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