B&O 4-6-2, class P7, #5320 with Train #233 at Columbus Union Station April 25, 1954.
Photo by Donald A Kaiser.
Steam Railroads - 1850-1960
Columbus had five class I railroads in the 1950s. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, New York Central Railroad, Norfolk and Western Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. As late as 1955 all five provided Columbus with passenger service and all but the C&O used steam locomotives, either on their freight, yard or passenger trains. In 1954 there were 38 passenger trains through Columbus, the B&O had 2, C&O 2, NYC 10, PRR 22, and N&W 2. This section of the web site will look at each of the five railroads, through photographs, maps and other material, in order to give the reader a flavor of Columbus railroading. By the 1960s steam engines would disappear followed by passenger trains, parlor cars, Pullman cars, mail trains, the railroad post office (RPO), Railway Express, Columbus Union Station, towers, most train yards, most railroad shops, much of the railroad employment and even the names and configurations of the five roads listed above. Railfans in the 1950s knew change was coming. They would have to hurry to see and absorb the 1950's railroad scene while it lasted. Here in the Steam Railroads section is some of what they saw and photographed.