Click to enlarge.
The camera is looking west toward what was the site of the Pennsylvania Railroad yards, Twentieth Street Shops and St. Clair Avenue Roundhouse. With the demise of the steam locomotive and the consolidation of five old switching yards into the new Buckeye Yard on the west side of Columbus the land became surplus. I-670 and the salt pile have re-purposed a facility that once employed 8000 PRR employees.

Photo from Russ Thompson Collection, c. 1980

Milestones in the History of Railroads and Columbus

         Railroads and Columbus, Ohio were closely linked from the start in 1850 when the Columbus & Xenia Railway, the first railroad, reached Columbus. Over the years events local, national or natural affected Columbus and its railroads. Sometimes this was for the better, sometimes not. Events could be big and long lasting like the Great Flood of 1913 or small like the Thanksgiving weekend snow of 1950.
         Overtime the Milestones section of Columbus Railroads will explore some of these events. Here are examples of the synergy between Ohio's Capital City and its railroads to be explored:

1831s Columbus Feeder Canal reaches Columbus
1833 National Road reaches Columbus
1850 Columbus & Xenia Railroad reaches Columbus
1861-1865 The American Civil War
1863 The first horse drawn streetcar line constructed in Columbus
1870-1920 Developing the Southeastern Ohio Coal Fields
1875-1930 Eliminating railroad grade crossings in Columbus
1891-1892 Conversion to electric streetcar lines in Columbus
1900 Railroad shops employ thousands in Columbus
1900 & 1910 Streetcar strikes in Columbus
1895-1939 Rise and demise of the interurban railways in Columbus
1913 The Great Flood of 1913
1929 Pennsylvania Railroad & Transcontinental Air Transport's
Train to Plane Service
1950 Thanksgiving Day snow and the OSU/Michigan football game
1950-1960 Steam power to diesel transition on Columbus' Railroads
1960-1970s The demise of the passenger train
1968 Penn Central and Buckeye Yard
1980 The Staggers Rail Act and how it affected the railroads
through Columbus