Railroad Stories I

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1960's Train Service on
The New York Central Railroad (T&OC*)
By James M. Cavanaugh

                                            T&OC Northern Map - 1932,   T&OC Southern Map - 1932,

The Zanesville & Western - Columbus's "Backyard Railroad" - The origins, growth and decline of the Columbus, Shawnee & Hocking Railway, Zanesville & Western Railway and Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad. Columbus, Shawnee & Hocking Rwy Map, 1890

Road Trains

1960s - Road Trains North From Columbus - Take a ride on the Toledo & Ohio Central (T&OC) from the West Columbus Yard to Stanley Yard near Toledo. It is suggested the reader print a copy of this article then bring up the above T&OC Northern map on the computer and follow the route as the article is read. An alternate is to use Google or Bing Maps. Ridgeway Map - 1968

1960s - Road Trains South From Toledo - The trip back to Columbus could return part way on the Eastern Division or come all the way on the Western Division. Buckeye Yard would bring big changes to the old T&OC. The days of knowing everyone would soon draw to a close.
     Toledo Map - 1968-69   Stanley Yard Map - 1968   Kenton Map - 1967

1950s - T&OC Helper Territory North from Columbus - In the steam locomotive era, which ended in 1952, the T&OC assigned helper locomotives in several locations including north out of Columbus.  Learn how and why helper assist was used in the stream era.

1960s - Road Trains South From Columbus - Take a ride on the T&OC into coal country. It is suggested the reader print a copy of this article then bring up one of the above T&OC maps on the computer and follow the route on the map as the article is read.
     Thurston Map - 1968,    Corning Map - 1968,    Sunday Creek Map - 1968

Foreign Roads

1968 - A Quick Run on the C&O - When the T&OC line from Columbus to Toledo was blocked and a train had to get through, the C&O would come to the rescue.

1970 - The C&O Athens Subdivision - A much hoped for Spring afternoon detour on the C&O in Southern Ohio.
     Athens Map - 1970

1970 - Road Train on the Panhandle - Mr. Cavanaugh's last call as a railroad brakeman was on a fast freight to Pittsburgh's Conway yard. At the end of this run he would leave Columbus for California and law school.
     Newark Map - 1970,    Mingo Junction Map - 1970

Yard Jobs and Locals

1960s - The Toledo & Ohio Central West Columbus Yard - The West Columbus Yard was the center of activity for the T&OC in Columbus. Mr. Cavanaugh describes what went on there, how crews were allocated, where the trains ran and what finally happened to the West Columbus Yard.

1960s - The South Columbus Local - The South Columbus Local, technically a yard crew job, served industries along the T&OC Western branch between the West Columbus Yard and Bannon. Construction and Maintenance contractor Fritz Rumer Cooke Co. was one of those industries served by this local.

1960s - The East Columbus Local - A trip from the T&OC's West Columbus Yard through three interlocking plants to Truro, north on the old Zanesville & Western through the Defense Construction Supply Center, across the PRR/B&O main to the Albers Grocery warehouse and return. Learn just why this trip often took sixteen hours.

1960s - Switching On the Road - The T&OC had a dozen local switch trains. What was it like on one of those trains? Join the head-end brakeman as he spends the next 16 hours on a T&OC local.

1960s - Locals on the T&OC - T&OC West Columbus-based engine and train crews manned no fewer than 14 local switching and terminal service runs in the 1960s. Read about the variety of work on this busy railroad.
     Conrail Schematic Switching Diagrams - 1984

1960s – The List Man - In the days of the five man crew when there was switching to be done by road crews the least senior brakeman, assigned to ride the locomotive, was the List Man responsible for the switch list. Mr. Cavanaugh describes just what that entailed.
     A sample switch list.

1968 - Mine Run on the T&OC - Hauling Peabody Coal Co. unit trains from Claybank in Perry County Ohio. Read about the T&OC's coal operations in southeastern Ohio.
     Ohio Coal County Railroads - 1898

Wreck Train / Caboose

1968 - The T&OC Wreck Train - When the railroad was blocked due to a wreck it was all hands on deck. The wreck train was called out to work around the clock until the line was clear and wrecked cars removed.

1960s - The Humble Caboose - In the days of the five man crew the caboose was the domain of the conductor and his brakeman helper. Learn about the role of the freight train caboose.

* The Toledo & Ohio Central came under the control of the New York Central in 1922. It continued to be referred to, by employees, as the T&OC to differentiate it from the "Big Four", the NYC's Cleveland-Cincinnati line through Columbus.