Tag Archives: ohio

The Importance of AMTRAK’s “Cardinal” to Cincinnati

If you look at the map of Amtrak’s “Cardinal”, it shows up as an alternate route from New York to Chicago. Going West it hits no major city until Cincinnati. But this city needs good travel to Chicago……not 3 days a week in the middle of the night. The total trip time from New York to Chicago takes 26 hours and 30 minutes, although the train often does not run on time.

Perhaps it is time to think of HYPERLOOP? The Muhammad Ali HYPERLINK is already being promoted as a Chicago-Louisvile route. Both routes benefit Indianapolis too!!!

Who knows, maybe the whole Cardinal route coud become a HYPERLOOOP?

Cincinnati Streetcar gears up for pre-revenue service

The Cincinnati Streetcar will begin pre-revenue service on Aug. 7, marking the next step in preparing the streetcar for public use.

During the pre-revenue period, the streetcar operating and maintenance team can work out problems that arise and correct them before passenger service begins Sept. 9, Cincinnati Streetcar officials said in a press release.

In addition, all “behind-the-scenes” operations such as dispatching and supervision will be fully functioning.

The 3.6-mile Cincinnati Streetcar route has 18 stops throughout the city’s downtown area. CAF USA built the vehicles for the line.

The Cincinnati Streetcar is owned and funded by the city, managed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and operated by Transdev.

PRR 6518 at the Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati

The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati maintains over 80 trains, magnificently large and stunning to look at Jun 6, 2016

The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati is a railroad museum in Covington, Kentucky, at the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad yard. The museum owns and maintains a collection of 80 historic railroad equipment and acquires several new pieces each year to their home in the Latonia Rail Yard. Located on a 4-acre (16,000 m2) site, the museum displays several classic, well-known vehicles, as well as rarities that will impress rail experts. The museum is located at 315 Southern Avenue in the Latonia area of Covington. The majority of the collection is from the first half of the 20th century.

This museum was founded in 1975 when a club of local railroad enthusiasts decided to run passenger cars on Amtrak trains. However, in the 1980s, Amtrak tightened its restrictions on passenger cars, making it too difficult (and expensive) for the club members to continue running their recreational rides. Though the Amtrak excursions ended, the cars remained as the core of the present collection. At that point, the goal of the museum changed and now focuses on the preservation of the equipment. Tom Holley, former Chairman of the Board, stated: “Now the primary purpose of the museum is the collection of the equipment that belonged to the seven railroads then entered Cincinnati.”

nside the cars, you’ll find original seats, gears, and even sinks. The original passenger cars remained and today there are roughly 80 trains, artifacts, and pieces of equipment, including sleeping cars, box cars, dining cars, switchers, diesel locomotives and even an old railway post office. Most of the collection stems from the 1930s-1950s, while other railcars date back to as early as 1908. The museum owns and maintains a collection of authentic trains and railroad equipment. Most of the collection stems from the 1930s-1950s, while other railcars date back to as early as 1908.

Pennsylvania Railroad E8 locomotive #5888 has been undergoing restoration for the past few years. A “theatrical” baggage car (the Juliet, one of 47 built by the Pennsy between 1917 and 1922) sits on the track beside the locomotive and will serve as a mobile staging area for the renovation. The Museum also has a large collection of Pullman-Standard cars including the Metropolitan View built in 1938 for the PRR’s Broadway Limited and a BM70nb railway post office (PRR #6518) modernized for the same train. Many of the Pullman-Standard cars were built as part of the Fleet of Modernism in the 1930s. Visitors are welcome to explore the museum. Some vehicles are designated as “climb aboard,” which welcomes guests to walk through a passenger car, or sit in the engineer’s seat in a locomotive.


Ohio DOT slates meetings for Cincinnati commuter-rail line

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) this week is hosting a series of open houses to share the results of studies evaluating feasible alternatives for a commuter-rail line in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Known as Oasis Rail Transit, the 17.1-mile line would run between Cincinnati’s Riverfront Transit Center and Interstate 275 in Milford. Much of route’s alignment would use publicly owned rail right-of-way and could use existing freight lines. In other places, new tracks would be built to complete the necessary connections, ODOT officials said in a press release.

The department will hold three open houses on Feb. 24 and 25.

During previous ODOT community meetings, the public previewed information on the line’s proposed technology, operation schedules, station locations, ridership and costs. That information has been updated based on current information and public input, department officials said.

ODOT now is inviting public review and feedback on the results, which will be documented as part of this phase of study.

The Oasis Rail Transit project is a core component of the Eastern Corridor Program, which calls for integrated, multimodal transportation investments between downtown Cincinnati and Clermont County, ODOT officials said.

FRA’s regional plan to include Ohio-to-Chicago passenger-rail corridor

The Ohio-to-Chicago passenger-rail corridor will be part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) regional rail plan for the Midwest, two passenger-rail advocacy organizations announced last week.

Last month, the FRA announced it would commit about $2.8 million toward two regional rail planning projects: the Midwest and Southeast. The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) recently received preliminary notification that its November 2014 application to the FRA for a multi-state planning project had been chosen as one of the two planning efforts, the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) and All Aboard Ohio advocacy groups announced last week on their websites.

The MIPRC submitted its application in response to the FRA’s request for statements of interest in a federally led regional planning process. The commission applied for passenger-rail planning on behalf of several states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

MIPRC received more than 90 letters of support, including from participating departments of transportation, cities and counties, MPOs, freight railroads elected officials, unions, universities and other advocacy groups, according to NIPRA.

The FRA will use the funds to engage stakeholders in both regions in forming comprehensive regional governance organizations to sustain current planning, and develop a long-term passenger-rail vision for their respective regions, according to the NIPRA website.

Van Sweringen Brothers, Nickel Plate and Other Ohio Railroads WebSite


 Pictured above is the Cleveland Union Terminal

Early in the 20th Century, two brothers from rural Ohio built a railroad empire when railroads were more critical to American transportation. Their achievements were first real estate, secondly in skyscraper construction, and finally in railroad consolidations. Oris P. and Mantis J. Van Sweringen were bachelors who had no hobby but work.

In 1916, the New York Central sold them the New York, Chicago & St. Louis (commonly known as the Nickel Plate). This road did not do well with passenger traffic but had a rich freight business. They hired John J. Bernet as the president to run it. By 1922 they had absorbed the Lake Erie & Western and the Toledo, St. Louis & Western (Clover Leaf Route).

Next, they gained control of the Chesapeake & Ohio and Hocking Valley (the Hocking Valley gave C&O a long haul route from the Ohio Valley to the Great Lakes). These fed coal tonnage to Nickel Plate which served industrial centers such as Lackawanna, Cleveland, Lorain, Toledo, Gary and Chicago. By 1927, the Van Sweringens had 26% of the Erie, 33% of Pere Marquette and 17% of Wheeling & Lake Erie.

In 1926 the Interstate Commerce Commission did not allow the brothers to merge their holdings. They then shifted their consolidation scheme to C&O to satisfy minority shareowners. This didn’t work either.

The coming of the Great Depression in 1929 nullified whatever unification plans the “Vans” had. They died in 1936 and 1937 after their empire collapsed.
Central to the Van Sweringen empire was the Nickel Plate Railroad. Find out why the Nickel Plate was built.
See a great Nickel Plate map and discover the role of the Nickel Plate in various “Alphabet Routes”. An important Nickel Plate connection was the Buffalo Creek Railroad

Cleveland was important to the Vans. We have some Cleveland railroad maps a story of what’s left of Cleveland Union Terminal. You can also see the New York Central Cleveland Division in 1925 . We talk about Cleveland’s current regional transit system too.

Read about Ohio in 1998 and about Ohio railroad stations. Find out about the Maumee River Bridge and Interstate trails.
Between 1926 and 1930, the system saw development of new high-horsepower locomotives. The most famous of these was the 2-8-4 Berkshire. These were used by Erie and Nickel Plate. Later, T-1 2-10-4’s were developed on the C&O based on the 2-8-4’s.