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        I have been interested in railroads of all kinds for over 50 years.  In that time I have learned that I like horsecars, streetcars, interurbans, and standard and narrow gauge steam railroads (with steam locomotives).  I can tolerate first generation diesels, mostly to understand the role they  played in the transition from steam power.  Models are nice but, with great regret not my skill.  Second generation and beyond diesels, like automobiles after 1956, just don't have the character or charm of the early days.

        For anyone with this general interest Columbus, Ohio, my hometown, has or had it all.  Horsecar systems that started in the middle of the Civil War, streetcar companies that merged and remerged evolving until one unified system remained, interurban lines that radiated in all directions from Columbus, many steam roads some starting as early as the 1850's that eventually boiled down, a hundred years later, to five big class one railroads. 

        The growth of Columbus was made possible by the railroads that served her.  Much of the late nineteenth and early twenty century industry in Columbus supported railroads - Timken Roller Bearing, Buckeye Steel Castings, Jeffrey Manufacturing, Ralston Steel Car Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad shops to name a few.  Railroad related employment in Columbus was huge in the late nineteenth - early twentieth century as was the dirt and pollution that went along with that employment.  None of that, the good or the bad, is very much evident in the 21st Century Columbus.

        The purpose of this web site will be to share some of that history, what I and others have collected in pictures and stories about that period from 1850-1960.  I hope the reader will respond when I have it wrong and also add to the narration presented here.  I know that there are many long time railroad fans with detailed knowledge of how things were in the old days.  While there is some published material about railroading in and around Columbus there are also large gaps in the story.  Maybe we can fill in a few of those gaps before they are lost.

        You will find this web site a bit eclectic and it will tend to jump around a bit depending on what interests me this month.  New material is usually added around the first of the month.  You may email me with your comments and suggestions  at - columbusrr@att.net

Alex Campbell


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