Baltimore & Ohio to Washington, IN - CSX, Louisville Division, Indiana Subdivision
Former Ohio & Mississippi/Baltimore & Ohio to Washington, IN
Broad gauge (6'-0") line opened in 1857, converted to standard gauge in 1871
Downtown terminal: Front & Mill Streets (Now Mehring Way & Gest Street), then Central Union Depot (3rd Street & Central Avenue)
In use except downtown terminal areas
The last of the so-called pioneer railroads to be built in Cincinnati, the Ohio & Mississippi received its charters from Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois in 1848, 1849, and 1851 respectively. Construction began in 1851 and it was opened between Cincinnati and Aurora, Indiana in 1854. The line to East St. Louis was completed in 1857, aided by a large loan from the city of Cincinnati and the usual stock subscriptions. Built to a 6'-0" gauge to provide a connecting route for the Atlantic and Great Western, this highly overcapitalized company was financially sick from the outset. By locating the line along the bank of the Ohio River, construction was relatively easy until Aurora, where it climbs to the higher interior plains of Indiana. The earliest terminal was a modest wooden structure on the south side of Front and Mill Streets, currently the 3-way intersection of Mehring Way, Pete Rose Way, and Gest Street. A somewhat larger and better executed wood station was built on the same site in 1873, but it still typified the precarious situation of the road. Conversion to standard gauge in 1871 helped bring the line into a somewhat better position, but rescue didn't come until the turn of the 20th century when it was absorbed into the Baltimore and Ohio. A connecting viaduct to Union Terminal was constructed, which climbed up the north bank of the Ohio River, passed under the north approach to the Cincinnati Southern Bridge, then swung north to Union Terminal. The viaduct itself has been dismantled, but the arched concrete piers remain. The main yard was located at Storrs, along River Road between today's Waldvogel Viaduct and the Ohio River. Today this route sees a trio of weekday manifests that operate west from Cincinnati to Seymour, then south on the Louisville & Indiana Railroad to Louisville, Kentucky. Local trains are based at Trautman, Ohio and Mitchell, Indiana.
Photographs from Queensgate
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