Railroads 2



   By 1873 three passenger and as many freight depots lay scattered along Front, Pearl, Fifth, and Sixth Streets in the West End, with their multiplying tracks even back then threaten to become an impassable tangle. In 1873 the directors of all these railroads formed a committee to consider the construction of a single station to be used jointly by all. This committee came to the conclusion that it would be impracticable because it could not be located as to accommodate both the East and West roads. No further steps were taken for the next eight years.
    In 1881 the President of the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Saint Louis and Chicago Railroad, Henry Lord, was authorized by the directors to acquire additional property in the West End, extending west from Central Avenue to Smith Street between Pearl and Third, for a new union station. Work began on the depot in 1881 and was opened April 9, 1883. The three story head house was on the corner of third and Central with the train shed wide enough for eight tracks and five platforms that covered 215' of the 565' total length. This length was eventually extended to 910' on number five platform. The 2nd image below is not a postcard.

Central Union Depot Layout.jpg (638209 bytes)                        Grand Central Station-1905.jpg (1608230 bytes)
Map of depot                                                        1905     


   When this depot first opened in 1883 only two railroads used it, the proprietary company, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Saint Louis and Chicago Railroad (Big Four), and a single tenant, the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. But very quickly two more tenants joined, namely, the Ohio and Mississippi and the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore , the successor to the Marietta and Cincinnati. More railroads quickly joined the depot near the end of the 1880's. They were the Chesapeake and Ohio, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific,  lessee of the Cincinnati Southern, the Kentucky Central, the B. O. (until they moved into the C.H.&D. in 1918) and the Eire Railroad.

Central Union-3rd & Central.jpg (425187 bytes)
Early lithograph of depot

Central Union Station-2.jpg (113430 bytes)    Central Union Station-4.jpg (97798 bytes)    Grand Central Station.jpg (103872 bytes)    Central Union Station-6.jpg (110269 bytes)    Central Union-ab.jpg (124468 bytes)

Central Union Station-5.jpg (122813 bytes)      Grand Central Depot-3.jpg (461380 bytes)      Central Union Depot 5.jpg (342464 bytes)      Central Union Station-3.jpg (94070 bytes)

Central Union Station-7.jpg (73763 bytes)        Central Union Station-8.jpg (87745 bytes)

Big Four Map.jpg (840440 bytes)                    Central Union Depot-1883 Flood.jpg (677977 bytes)                    Big Four Offices on 3rd.jpg (121048 bytes)

   The map above shows all the Big Four's routes and apparently every depot it used. The 2nd photograph shows the terminal during the 1883 flood. The last image is of the Big Four Office Building located on 3rd Street adjacent to the depot.

Big Four.jpg (69860 bytes)
An early Big Four Ad.

dup-C & O Train.jpg (280350 bytes)
C & O Passenger Train
Kraemer postcard

   Railroads used by the Central Union Depot : Cleveland,  Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis (CCC&StL) (Big Four); Baltimore & Ohio; Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific {CNO&TP); Louisville & Nashville (L&N); Chesapeake & Ohio (&O); Cincinnati Northern (NYC); Illinois Central R.R.

Big 4 G.Ingalls-General Freight Manager.jpg (342803 bytes)            Big 4 L.Osborn-treasurer.jpg (299324 bytes)            Big 4 N.Johnson-General Freight Agent.jpg (161428 bytes)            Big 4-E. F. Osborn Secretary.jpg (337183 bytes)
G. H. Ingalls                     L. E. Osborn                    N. R. Johnson                     E. F. Osborn
General Freight Mgr.        Treasurer Big Four          General Freight Agt.          Secretary Big Four 
Big Four                                                                      Big Four                                              

Big 4 P. A. Hewitt-Auditor.jpg (289759 bytes)            Big 4 S. O. Bayless-Lawyer.jpg (176601 bytes)                        F.M.Whitaker- C&O RR-Freight Traffic Manager.jpg (205606 bytes)
    P. A. Hewitt                    S. O. Bayless                                  F. M. Whitaker
        Big Four Auditor             Big Four Lawyer                        Freight Traffic Manager
                                                                                                       C. & O. RR



   We now come to the only railroad in the country that is owned by a city. The city's need to open up a trade route from Cincinnati to the Southern States, because of the decline of the riverboat as a means of transporting goods and the railroads growing importance, prompted the city to ask Columbus in May of 1869 for permission to build a railroad line from the north bank of the Ohio River to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was granted. . In June, in a special election, the question of constructing the railroad and issuing the bonds necessary to pay for it received a favorable vote of nearly 10 to one. The State of Tennessee granted a charter in January 1970, but the Kentucky Assembly did not act for more than two years before they authorized construction in February 1972. This was no doubt due to the influence of the competing L & N line pressuring the lawmakers. Construction began at Kings Mountain, in Lincoln County, Kentucky in December of 1873. The 332 mile length was completed in March of 1880.

CNO & TP Route.jpg (332310 bytes)                    CS Route 2.jpg (236442 bytes)
                            Route of the Cincinnati Southern                                             Basic Route

   The Cincinnati Southern (CS) when completed cost a staggering $20,000,000 to build, or almost $60,000 per mile. By 19th century standards this was an unheard amount of money. The reason was the type of topography the railroad had to span. The stretch of line between Danville, Ky., and Oakdale, Tenn. contained 23 tunnels and has obtained lasting fame as the Rat Hole Division. This portion of the line was so crooked that a train that had over 120 cars would never be in a straight line. You add in 4 other tunnels in Kentucky from Wilmore, Kentucky to Danville, Ky. you have a total of 27 tunnels (bores) in a 150 mile stretch. In addition there are 105 bridges plus countless deep cuts and high hills. The line has since been improved to the point where there are only 13 bores remaining, 11 on the Rat Hole. All the bores had to be enlarged in 1928 due to larger engines and cars. The route is divided into 3 operating districts. From Cincinnati the First District extends 116 miles to Danville, Ky.; the Second District, the Rat Hole, spans 138 miles to Oakdale, Tenn.; and the Third District covers the final 78 miles to Citico Junction (Chattanooga).

Rat Hole side view.jpg (117139 bytes)
Rat Hole section side view. (present day)

   The city knew it did not have the necessary expertise to compete with private carriers and within a year wisely leased the railroad to a privately financed corporation. They awarded the lease, in September 1881, to a New York financier Frederick Wolfe and the Erlanger family of Cincinnati. The Wolfe-Erlanger group then established the Corporation named the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company or, more commonly known as the CNO&TP. The portion owned by Cincinnati is still known as the Cincinnati Southern Railway. These lines were all made possible because of the connections to New Orleans and Texas from Chattanooga. The railroad became known as the Queen and Crescent Route after the nicknames of the terminal cities of Cincinnati and New Orleans. 
   The initial lease was for twenty-five years and to be renewable at similar intervals thereafter. Rentals were $800,000 per year for five years, $900,000 for the 2nd five, and $1,000,000 for the last fifteen. The lessee also agreed to spend another $8,000,000 in improvements as directed by the trustees.
   One of the major challenges facing the railroad was the construction of a bridge spanning the Ohio. With a total length, including the approaches, of nearly half a mile and with the river crossing itself of 1,500 feet, the bridge when completed would contain the longest truss span (515') in the world at the time. The drawings below are all views as seen from the Kentucky shore. All the images show the swing span that was on the southern end of the bridge. It pivoted horizontally when it was opened. This would allow river traffic to pass when the river level was too high. When the bridge was rebuilt in 1922 this span was no longer needed, although you can still see the pier that had supported it. The trains you see in these images heading to the Ludlow Depot from Covington, KY. To see some postcards of this bridge go to the Ohio River section.

Cincinnati Southern Bridge from Kentucky side-1885.jpg (286353 bytes)    Southern RR Bridge Swing Span.jpg (227764 bytes)    Southern RR Bridge.jpg (236880 bytes)    Cincinnati Southern Bridge from KY..jpg (475759 bytes)

   Until the Central Union Station was built in 1883 the CNO&TP depot was located in Ludlow, Kentucky. In the late 1880s they moved into Central Union. I had to use some of my Northern Kentucky cards for this section because not only was the depot there but the main railroad yard was also located there.

Southern Depot,Ludlow.jpg (129934 bytes)    CNO RR Yards 1.jpg (263994 bytes)    CNO RR Yards.jpg (296841 bytes)    CNO Trestle Ludlow.jpg (277491 bytes)    CNO Trestle Ludlow 1.jpg (269765 bytes)
Ludlow Depot                                        Southern Railroad Yards                                Trestle seen from the Lagoon Park in Ludlow

CNO&TP Loco8.jpg (175205 bytes)
Locomotive #8

Freight Station-Front & Vine-1905-6 CNO&TP.jpg (647451 bytes)                CNO & TP Freight Depot.jpg (735462 bytes)
Freight Depot of the CNO&TP

   The two non-postcard images above show the CNO&TP freight depot. Vine Street is on the East, Plum St. is on the West, Commerce St. is on the North and Front St. is on the South side.
   In the first 13 years of the lease agreement (1881-94) the total rental paid to the city was $11,370,000. The total rental for the 25 years was $23,500,000. The lease was renegotiated in 1902, four years before its expiration date. The new lease was for 60 years at $1,050,000 per annum, for the first 20 years, $1,100,00 for the 2nd 20 years, and $1,200,000 per year for the 3rd 20 years. The third part was raised in 1950 to $1,350,000 plus a varying percentage of the net income. By the end of 1974 the rentals paid to the city had reached a total of $156,000,000. From 1987 thru 2008 the rental payments totaled $330 million including $18.9 million generated in 2008. The current lease expires in 2026 with the option for renewal for 25 years.

CNO & TP map-1895.jpg (274815 bytes)                Q&C Route Map-2.jpg (708248 bytes)                CNO & TP Train-1896.jpg (240402 bytes)
Queen & Crescent Routes             More detailed route map                          C. N. O. & TP Train            

                                                                                   Not a Postcard
Parlor Car-Q & C.jpg (330618 bytes)                                Queen & Crescent Ticket Office.jpg (86925 bytes)
   Q. & C. Parlor Car                                                 Ticket Office
                                                                                    4th & Vine

Q&C W.Murphy-President.jpg (276030 bytes)            Q&C G.Nicholson-Chief Engineer.jpg (175624 bytes)            Q&C Chas. Patton-Treasurer.jpg (148346 bytes)            Q&C Alex Telford-Purchasing Agent.jpg (228201 bytes)
W. J. Murphy                G. B. Nicholson                  Charles Patton                  Alex. Telford 
       President Q. & C.       Chief Engineer Q. & C.          Treasurer Q. & C.      Purchasing Agt. Q. & C.


Queen & Crescent-1903.jpg (625417 bytes)        Queen & Crescent-1906.jpg (313745 bytes)        Queen & Crescent Railroad.jpg (249545 bytes)
1903                              1906                                                      



   In 1904 the Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville Railroad completed a line between Cincinnati and Chicago along the shortest route between the two cities. The only way it could enter Cincinnati was over Cheviot Hill at an elevation 360 feet above its tracks in the Mill Creek Valley. This would entail steep grades in addition to expensive bridge and trestle work. The high cost of building the road plus a poor traffic left it unable to meet interest charges, and even in some years its operating expenses, and was only saved from total collapse when it was sold at foreclosure to the C. & O. in July of 1910. The depot for this railroad was a combined freight and passenger station on McLean Avenue near Eighth Street in 1903-04. This depot was the furthest from the city's core then any other station. After the C. & O. acquired the C. C. & L. property the passenger trains were transferred to the Fourth Street Station. The last non-postcard image below shows the depot during the 1913 flood.

CC & L Station.jpg (100735 bytes)        8th St. Depot Location.jpg (136345 bytes)        8th St. Depot From 8th St. Viaduct 1913 Flood.jpg (63456 bytes)
C. C.. L. Depot -1904 



   The C. & O. established service into the city in January, 1889, following the opening of the C. &. O. Bridge in 1888. Anticipating a larger volume of traffic that in fact  never materialized, plans were made to build freight and passenger station in the block bounded by Third and Fourth Streets immediately north of the Union Depot train shed. The freight station was built as planned, but the passenger facility proved to be something of a joke. In 1891 the road bought a dwelling on Fourth Street near Smith that had been built in 1869. The rail road laid down track on both sides of the house, converting the parlor into a waiting room, the dining room into a ticket office, the kitchen into a toilet and lavatory, and the upstairs bedrooms into offices. Thus the Fourth Street Station was born. The station was used by the Kentucky Central (which later merged with the L. & N.) in addition to the C. & O.. Up to 10 trains a day used the depot.

C&O (4th St) Station-1929.jpg (539716 bytes)        C&O (4th St)-backside.jpg (511923 bytes)        C&O Depot.jpg (86733 bytes)        4th St. Depot 3.jpg (100535 bytes)

   These 1929 non-postcard images of the C. & O. Depot show how the converted row house was located at the correct elevation for access to the C. & O. Bridge. The first image also shows the approach tracks to the Central Union Depot that went under the steel bridge the train is going over. The 2nd and 3rd images shows the depot from the rear, the last is just a great image with a little coke thrown in.

   Railroads that used the Fourth Street Station in 1920: Chesapeake & Ohio; Louisville & Nashville.


   It was nearly 30 years before Union Terminal came along and unified all the railroads into one facility. Despite the dissatisfaction with the confusing tangle of depots and tracks thru out the city it was still quite efficient in transferring freight and passengers into and out of Cincinnati. In 1890 276 trains entered and left each day, in 1910 243 trains came and went each day. These totals must be increased by 10 percent for those trains not shown in the public time tables, namely, mail and express trains, work trains, extra trains for those busy times. In 1920 289 trains passed thru, and it fell to 224 daily in 1928.


Railroads in Cincinnati.jpg (598971 bytes)
Cincinnati Railroads

   The image above lists every railroad that used Cincinnati depots over the years.

Soo Line doublecard.jpg (579499 bytes)        Soo Line back.jpg (211508 bytes)
Soo Line

   This double card was put out for the district passenger agent for the Soo Line Railroad. That is not Cincinnati and I do not know what city it is. The Soo Line is now a branch of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the "Soo" comes from the pronunciation of the word Sault that was part of its original name of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway (MStP & SSM). I have not discovered what depot was used back then, but when I do I will move this to the proper area.




ALL  OTHER  DEPOTS  (in no particular order)

Torrance road station.jpg (70399 bytes)      Penn Station-z1.jpg (82649 bytes)
Torrence Road Penn. Station

   When the Union Terminal unified all the downtown depots into one building it also replaced this suburban depot that was operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Built in 1907 about five miles east of the Pennsylvania Station, its passengers came from the affluent Walnut Hills area. The location was between Riverside Drive & Columbia Parkway northwest of St. Rosa Roman Catholic Church. President William Howard Taft used this station during his term in office. The tower on the right contained an elevator that was used by the President's wife who was confined to a wheelchair. The tower and elevator were necessary because the depot was built into the side of a hill. It was closed in 1933.

Torrence Road Station photo.jpg (122729 bytes)        Torrence Road Sta. Panel.jpg (140789 bytes)

   The two non-postcard images above show the station a little clearer and shows the sculpted panel underneath the overhead passage that was done by the sculptor Carl Bitter. It was one of a series of eight, representing important mid-western cities, that were done for the old Broad Street station in Philadelphia. They graced the walls of the station from 1881 until it was destroyed by fire in 1923. This sculpture was then sent here to be hung. 


Northside Depot.jpg (92719 bytes)
C. H. & D. Depot,

   The Northside depot was located at the corner of Apple St. and Vandalia Ave was opened in 1851 which made Northside Cincinnati's first commuter suburb. The C.H.&D. depot was purchased by the B. & O. Railroad in 1917. It ceased operating in 1966.


Rencomb junction.jpg (113807 bytes)        PRR Undercliff Yard.JPG (163087 bytes)
Rendcomb Junction

   Rendcomb Junction was created in the 1890's on the east side of Eastern Ave. about 400' north of Heekin Ave.


Harrison RR Depot.jpg (84415 bytes)    Harrison Depot 2.jpg (76511 bytes)*              Hartwell depot.jpg (58391 bytes)    CH&D Hartwell Station-1918.jpg (171962 bytes)
                          Harrison Ohio Depot                                            Big Four  Hartwell  Depot        CH&D Hartwell-1918
                                                                                                                                                             Not a postcard

   The Harrison Depot was located on the south side of Broadway St. at Railroad Ave. It was used by the Big Four.



Epworth Heights Penn RR.jpg (116433 bytes)        Epworth Heights depot.jpg (99150 bytes)       1119.jpg (244153 bytes)       Epworth Heights RR Flyer.jpg (78312 bytes)
                                      Epworth Heights Penn. Depot                                                   Penn Flier Epworth Heights


                                                                                                        Not a postcard
Milford depot.jpg (83198 bytes)            Kings Mill depot.jpg (92558 bytes)    Kings Mill Depot.jpg (81237 bytes)
Milford Penn. Depot                                            Kings Mills Penn. Depot                  






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