Norfolk & Western, Cincinnati Connecting Belt Railroad


Former Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia/Norfolk & Western from Idlewild (Norwood) to Ivorydale (St. Bernard)

Standard gauge line opened in 1901

Mostly abandoned except a few connecting tracks near Ivorydale

Opened in 1901, the only other belt railroad aside from the Pennsy's Waterfront Belt Line is this one that traversed Norwood from south to north. The line began near Xavier University at Idlewild junction in Norwood at Dana Avenue, and it proceeded north from there. It crossed Hopkins Avenue, Reading Road, and Tennessee Avenue, on bridges that remain today and connected with the I&O Midland Sub (former B&O/Marietta) next to the Norwood Lateral between Paddock and Reading Roads. Remaining tracks cross the Lateral just east of the I-75 interchange to the small Berry Yard which then connect with the NS Dayton District (former Big Four) and the CSX Cincinnati Terminal Sub (former CH&D) via Ivorydale Yard. Its utility as a belt line was rather dubious, as there was an incomplete wye connection with the CL&N at Idlewild. Any westbound N&W or southbound CL&N trains would have to do an awkward reverse movement and have their locomotives turned around to proceed north on the belt line. Much of its usefulness was eliminated in the 1930s when connecting tracks were built in east Norwood and Fairfax allowing the CL&N, Little Miami, and N&W access to the Mill Creek Valley and Union Terminal via the B&O/Marietta line. The tracks at Tennessee Avenue and Reading Road were still in use, even if only for car storage, in the year 2000, but the connections to the former CL&N at Idlewild were already being dismantled. By 2008 it had been at least two years since the tracks were used, and N&W received permission for abandonment by the Surface Transportation Board. New construction around Xavier University has wiped away much of the railroad history around its campus, and the rest of the line has become quite overgrown.


Photographs from Evanston through Norwood


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