Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Ohio River & Columbus Railway

The Ohio River & Columbus Railway ran from Sardinia, OH to Ripley, OH on the Ohio River, a distance of 24.6 miles. It ran along steam power, but was planned for electrification, and held other properties more similar to interurban railways than a short line railroad. Nicknamed, the "Relief and Comfort", it only operated for fourteen years.

OR&C Right of Way south of Georgetown, OH. Image: USGS Higgins Topo Map, 1931
The route opened in 1903 along a similar route proposed earlier by the Columbus & Maysville Railroad, a predecessor railroad to the Norfolk & Western, with whom the OR&C interchanged with at Sardinia.

Image: OR&C 4-6-0 Locomotive at Ripley, OH. Virginia Tech Archives.
Heading southeasterly along the Ohio River, the railroad planned to extend to Aberdeen, as well as completely electrify their right of way, but neither of these initiatives were accomplished on account of financial hardships. While the line had more favorable freight rates than the N&W, it ultimately faced more competition than cooperation with other area short lines and interurban railroads.

Ultimately, the financial ruin was too large to overcome, and a proposed sale of the line to the Cincinnati Georgetown and Portsmouth Railroad, an interurban railway, never materialized. The line was abandoned just 14 years after opening in 1917.

Much of the history for this post comes from this page:

Thanks as always for reading!

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