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The Columbus Interurban Terminal

         Photo from DAK Collection     

        By 1912 the  interurban passenger business was booming and the small Interurban Station on West Gay Street was inadequate.  The Ohio Electric Railway Company, which served the  east-west lines out of Columbus, built a new modern Interurban Terminal that included a freight station on Third Street between Rich and Town streets.  The photo above shows the just completed passenger station taken from the corner of  Rich and Third Streets.  The front of the station, with a "modern" automobile parked in front, faces Third Street. To the right of the passenger station is the freight station still under construction.  On the Rich Street side can be seen the train platform canopy showing behind the building.  The signs on the two corners of the building are advertisements for store space rentals.

         Across the Street from the front of the terminal was the Scioto Valley Traction's station in the old Rich Street school house.  The SVT had been at this location since 1904.  The never did move into the new terminal facility.

        Photo from DAK Collection     

        Moving west on Rich Street and forward in time you can see the back of the Terminal where the train platforms were located.  When the Terminal was built it had four tracks for the passenger cars.  Later two additional tracks were added on the west side for use as "team tracks".  Box cars were spotted on these tracks so trucks could pull up and easily transfer cargo. Peeking out from behind the box cars are two wooden interurban passenger cars.  This photo is from the mid to late 1920's.  

        Photo from DAK Collection     

        When the terminal was built in 1912 the passenger station and freight station were separated allowing for an escape track that led to Third Street. After loading or unloading a box car at the freight station it could be removed using the escape track. This end of the freight station had a curved end that followed the curve of that escape track.  Look where the two men are standing on the platform next to the box cars and you will see a curve in the platform where the freight cars could swing out as they followed the track curve to Third Street.  The curved south section of the freight station which housed a trainmen's room and office has been removed and the freight station is being extended toward the passenger station.  The photographer is standing on the roof of the passenger station.

        The camera in the above photo is pointed north.  You can see the Lincoln LeVeque Tower (originally called the American Insurance Union Citadel, A.I.U. Building) in the background placing the photo sometime after 1927.  The buildings facing the camera behind the box cars are on the north side of Town Street.

        Photo from DAK Collection     

        Another view of the freight station expansion.  You can see the old escape track leading to Third Street that is being covered up by the new construction.  It looks like the freight station is a busy place with trucks transferring cargo.

        Photo from AJC Collection        

        It is the 1930's and Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad "Red Devil" #119 is loading passengers.  This photo shows the addition of the extra canopy that covered the west tracks.  The old wooden cars could load from either side, but the new C&LE cars only loaded on the right calling for this canopy extension.

        Photo from the Jay Williams Collection      

        This is a dream shot taken in 1932.  C&LE #122 is on the left and CD&M parlor car #500 on the right.  #500 was one of two parlor cars the CD&M had for its Columbus - Marion line.  It had a smoking compartment in front and individual swivel plush chairs in the back.  With those big picture windows the passengers got an excellent view of the Ohio country side on their trip to Marion.

        The C&LE cars were also special capable of speeds of 90 MPH on their trip to Cincinnati.  Car #122 had a small parlor section in the back with large picture windows for viewing the trip. It is a dream shot because what railfan wouldn't like to take a ride on either of these fine cars.

        In 1933 the CD&M would stop operations and in 1939 the C&LE, the last interurban in Columbus, would also stop.  The Columbus Interurban Terminal would be converted to an A&P supermarket.  Some time in the 1950's the Columbus HO Gauge Model Club would move from Columbus Union Station's Arcade on North High Street to the basement of the old Interurban Terminal where they would stay until the building was torn down in the 1960's.

        To learn more about the Columbus Interurban Terminal click here.