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Historical Amtrak service to Central Ohio

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CTANut

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Something that I have always wondered was about Amtrak service to stations in Central Ohio. I know Amtrak stopped serving Dayton and Columbus in 1979, but what about the larger cities in the area like Springfield and Xenia. They seem large enough to have attracted Amtrak service. I saw a timetable from 1975 and saw that neither on of these places was a stop on the train.
 

Steve4031

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The stations were along the route of what used to be the Pennsylvania RR. I thought there was a stop between Columbus and Pittsburg on the National Limited.
 

CTANut

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According to this timetable, there was not.
 

Dakota 400

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At some point in time--probably prior to Amtrak--there was passenger service to Xenia, Ohio between Dayton and Columbus. The old train station still exists and is used as part of the bike trail along the route that Amtrak's National Limited used. Tracks were removed several years ago. Maybe PRR serviced Xenia? Springfield? I have no idea if it was ever served by passenger rail.

I think there was a stop or more between Columbus and Pittsburgh, but that may have been when PRR operated trains on that route. Where? No idea.

For some reason during the 1950's PRR changed the routing of the Columbus-Chicago trains. Leaving Columbus, they originally went Northwest to Chicago. I recall a morning train as well as an overnight train, daily. (I think there was once an afternoon departure from both cities as well.) When the routing changed, the Columbus-Chicago train went West via Dayton and, I think, Richmond and Indianapolis. Then, headed to Chicago over the current route that the Cardinal uses.

If my memory is incorrect, I hope someone will correct me.
 

zephyr17

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At some point in time--probably prior to Amtrak--there was passenger service to Xenia, Ohio between Dayton and Columbus. The old train station still exists and is used as part of the bike trail along the route that Amtrak's National Limited used. Tracks were removed several years ago. Maybe PRR serviced Xenia? Springfield? I have no idea if it was ever served by passenger rail.

I think there was a stop or more between Columbus and Pittsburgh, but that may have been when PRR operated trains on that route. Where? No idea.

For some reason during the 1950's PRR changed the routing of the Columbus-Chicago trains. Leaving Columbus, they originally went Northwest to Chicago. I recall a morning train as well as an overnight train, daily. (I think there was once an afternoon departure from both cities as well.) When the routing changed, the Columbus-Chicago train went West via Dayton and, I think, Richmond and Indianapolis. Then, headed to Chicago over the current route that the Cardinal uses.

If my memory is incorrect, I hope someone will correct me.
Just FYI, PRR would not have used the current route out Indy. That is largely the former Monon, with the initial stretch from the outskirts of Indy to picking up the former Monon at Crawfordsville a minor line, whose original ownership (currently CSX like the Monon) I don't recall, that had been freight only for decades before Amtrak started the current routing. In fact, that stretch was still unsignalled dark territory just a few years ago when I rode the IP Hoosier State.

I am not sure of the routing, probably PRR through Logansport, but it sure as heck wasn't the Monon.
 
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railiner

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1605751328300.jpeg
Above is from penncentral.railfan.net
If you go directly to their site, it is much more readable...
 
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Dakota 400

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I am not sure of the routing, probably PRR through Logansport, but it sure as heck wasn't the Monon.
Your mentioning of Logansport does "ring a bell" in my memory. When I wrote the above post mentioning Indianapolis, I was questioning myself, but could not remember any other community. Those trains had interesting names: The Fort Hayes, The Union, The Ohioan which became The Buckeye.
 

railiner

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Logansport was on the PRR Panhandle line to Chicago...the South Wind went that way from Indianapolis, also.
Lafayette was on the NYC Big Four route to Chicago, via trackage rights on the IC from Kankakee. The James Whitcomb Riley went that way.

I don’t know how to cut and paste links on my iphone ( i don’t have access to computer while in NY)...or even to see the full site address to manually copy it, sorry. But if you ‘Google’ Penn Central East West Timetable 1968, you should see the site i copied from... then in their index, you should see ‘west via Buffalo and Pittsburgh’ to bring up a clearer copy...
 

CTANut

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Thanks, I think I found out what I was looking for. Most of these cities lost passenger service on April 30, 1971.
 

Dakota 400

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Logansport was on the PRR Panhandle line to Chicago...the South Wind went that way from Indianapolis, also.
Lafayette was on the NYC Big Four route to Chicago, via trackage rights on the IC from Kankakee. The James Whitcomb Riley went that way.

I don’t know how to cut and paste links on my iphone ( i don’t have access to computer while in NY)...or even to see the full site address to manually copy it, sorry. But if you ‘Google’ Penn Central East West Timetable 1968, you should see the site i copied from... then in their index, you should see ‘west via Buffalo and Pittsburgh’ to bring up a clearer copy...
Still no luck. Everything that I find is something on eBay for sale. There is a Hagley Museum that has a collection of PRR timetables that go up to 1953, but I have not found a way to access the actual timetables. Will keep trying.
 

Willbridge

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Logansport was on the PRR Panhandle line to Chicago...the South Wind went that way from Indianapolis, also.
Lafayette was on the NYC Big Four route to Chicago, via trackage rights on the IC from Kankakee. The James Whitcomb Riley went that way.

I don’t know how to cut and paste links on my iphone ( i don’t have access to computer while in NY)...or even to see the full site address to manually copy it, sorry. But if you ‘Google’ Penn Central East West Timetable 1968, you should see the site i copied from... then in their index, you should see ‘west via Buffalo and Pittsburgh’ to bring up a clearer copy...
Logansport was a key point on the "all others" trains of the Pennsy that were not NYC<>CHI or NYC<>STL. In 1969 when I was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison there were still trains departing as follows:

0005 = to Cincinnati, connection at Richmond to Columbus
0325 = to Chicago
1047 = The South Wind (every two days) to Florida
1243 = to Chicago
1355 = to Cincinnati, connection at Richmond to Columbus
1615 = The South Wind (every two days) to Chicago

In spring of '69 I rode "the Riley" as my Hoosier distant relations called it and it seemed to be the last decent PC train in the region. I had dinner in the diner and if I recall correctly it had five coaches. However, it was a Sunday afternoon, possibly the highest ridership of the week.
 

Willbridge

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Something that I have always wondered was about Amtrak service to stations in Central Ohio. I know Amtrak stopped serving Dayton and Columbus in 1979, but what about the larger cities in the area like Springfield and Xenia. They seem large enough to have attracted Amtrak service. I saw a timetable from 1975 and saw that neither on of these places was a stop on the train.
There also was a period when the Cardinal ran via Muncie.
 

Seaboard92

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Logansport was a key point on the "all others" trains of the Pennsy that were not NYC<>CHI or NYC<>STL.
0005 = to Cincinnati, connection at Richmond to Columbus
0325 = to Chicago
1047 = The South Wind (every two days) to Florida
1243 = to Chicago
1355 = to Cincinnati, connection at Richmond to Columbus
1615 = The South Wind (every two days) to Chicago
Here is the departure schedule for 1952 in Logansport, IN

Pennsylvania Railroad
Italics denote train does not use the main station but instead departs from Van Station in suburban Dunkirk, IN
00:15 Local No. 236 to Richmond, IN from Logansport, IN
01:05 Ohioan No. 110 to Columbus, OH from Chicago, IL
01:15 Kentuckian No. 306 to Louisville, KY from Chicago, IL
01:35 Southland No. 200 to Miami, FL/Springfield, OH from Chicago, IL (Number Changes at Louisville)
02:50 Local No. 235 to Logansport, IN from Richmond, IN
04:00 Southland No. 201 to Chicago, IL from Miami, FL/Springfield, OH (Number Changes at Louisville)
04:15 Kentuckian No. 305 to Chicago, IL from Louisville, KY
04:45 Ohioan No. 109 to Chicago, IL from Columbus, OH
10:58 Southwind No. 304 to Miami, FL from Chicago, IL (Operates Every Other Day, Number Changes at Louisville)
11:30 Local No. 216 to Cincinnati, OH from Chicago, IL
11:30 Local No. 216 to Dayton, OH from Logansport, IN
11:33 Local No. 215 to Chicago, IL from Cincinnati, OH
11:33 Local No. 215 to Logansport, IN from Dayton, OH
11:52 Ft Hayes No. 116 to Columbus, OH from Chicago, IL
11:55 Local No. 316 to Louisville, KY from Logansport, IN
12:01 Local No. 315 to Logansport, IN from Louisville, KY
12:10 Ft. Hayes No. 115 to Chicago, IL from Columbus, OH
15:31 Southwind No. 305 to Chicago, IL from Miami, FL (Operates Every Other Day, Number Changes at Louisville)
16:15 Union No. 208 to Cincinnati/Columbus, OH from Chicago, IL
17:21 Local No. 308 to Louisville, KY from Chicago, IL
18:15 Local No. 307 to Chicago, IL from Louisville, KY

18:18 Union No. 207 to Chicago, IL from Cincinnati/Columbus, OH

Wabash Railroad
01:05 St. Louis Special No. 3 to St. Louis, MO from Detroit, MI
11:00 Cannon Ball No. 2 to Detroit, MI from St. Louis, MO
15:09 Cannon Ball No. 1 to St. Louis, MO from Detroit, MI
23:38 Detroit Special No. 4 to Detroit, MI from St. Louis, MO


It is safe to say we have lost a ton of service.
 

railiner

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Nice job!
Glad I got to add the Wabash Cannonball to my mad scramble for future rare mileage, in the month before Amtrak Day.
Like in the song it was named after...
“No changes can be taken....”
Straight thru from St. Louis to Detroit....
 

Bob Dylan

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Nice job!
Glad I got to add the Wabash Cannonball to my mad scramble for future rare mileage, in the month before Amtrak Day.
Like in the song it was named after...
“No changes can be taken....”
Straight thru from St. Louis to Detroit....
My dad and I used to watch the Saturday MLB Game of the week with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese, and loved it when Dizzy would sing " The Wabash Cannonball".

Unfortunately I never got to ride it, but my dad did.
 

fdaley

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If you want real fun looking at the various rail lines of Indiana and Ohio take a look at this map I made. It has every passenger train in the US and Canada in 1952. And it's fully interactive so if you click a blue dot the train schedule for that station will load.
That is one amazing piece of work, and it really does show how much we've lost.
 

fdaley

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Just FYI, PRR would not have used the current route out Indy. That is largely the former Monon, with the initial stretch from the outskirts of Indy to picking up the former Monon at Crawfordsville a minor line, whose original ownership (currently CSX like the Monon) I don't recall, that had been freight only for decades before Amtrak started the current routing.
I believe the line the Cardinal uses from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville was a New York Central route that ran from Indianapolis to Pekin/Peoria, IL, and had passenger service till the mid-50s.
 

fdaley

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I think there was a stop or more between Columbus and Pittsburgh, but that may have been when PRR operated trains on that route. Where? No idea.
As of 1958, the PRR stops between Pittsburgh and Columbus were Steubenville, Scio, Dennison, Newcomerstown, Coshocton, Trinway and Newark, OH. There was also a stop at Xenia between Columbus and Dayton.

I think I recall Dennison appearing in a timetable or two for the Amtrak National Limited in the '70s, but it might have been one of those stops that was proposed to start on "a date to be announced" and never actually materialized. When I rode the National in 1978, there was no stop between Pittsburgh and Columbus, and nothing between Columbus and Dayton.
 

Palmland

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Nice job on the recap, Seaboard. Those were the days.

There also was a period when the Cardinal ran via Muncie
How many other routes were freight only before Amtrak began operating a passenger train?.

This was former C&O freight only trackage Chicago to Cincinnati. I rode it once from Peru, IN to Baltimore in 1984. I had to board late at night and missed a famous high bridge on the approach to Cincinnati In early morning hours.
 
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railiner

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Nice job on the recap, Seaboard. Those were the days.



How many other routes were freight only before Amtrak began operating a passenger train?.

This was former C&O freight only trackage Chicago to Cincinnati. I rode it once from Peru, IN to Baltimore in 1984. I had to board late at night and missed a famous high bridge on the approach to Cincinnati In early morning hours.
The most obvious one of those was the PRR “Port Road” between Baltimore and Harrisburg, branching off the NEC at Perryville. The Washington section of The Broadway Limited and the National Limited were routed that way for a while, since the former Northern Central line thru York was eliminated...
 

Palmland

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Railiner, I totally forgot about the Port Road operation. That discussion always makes me wonder if Amtrak (and Pennsylvania) would be better served by routing the Capitol that way. The trade offs: Superliner vs. single level equipment, the Potomac vs. the Susquehanna rivers, Horseshoe Curve vs. Sand Patch, a one seat ride for Harrisburg and Baltimore vs. Cumberland and Connellsville (MARC continues to serve Martinsburg). Pennsylvania would gain their second daily service to Pittsburgh albeit with a Harrisburg connection to Philly and NYC. The Capitol takes about 8 hours to Pittsburgh. When operating via the Port road it took about 9. Which would you choose?
 

fdaley

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How many other routes were freight only before Amtrak began operating a passenger train?.
The most amazing one to me is the Downeaster route north of Haverhill, which returned as a full-fledged corridor after 35-plus years as a freight-only route. Most of the others I can think of were, like the already-discussed Port Road and the C&O route through Peru, IN, essentially long-term/permanent detours that were made necessary when the traditional or direct route was downgraded or abandoned:
-- the Silver Star/Carolinian route between Raleigh and Selma (replacing the old Seaboard line through Henderson);
-- the City of New Orleans route through Yazoo City (replacing the old Illinois Central line from Memphis to Jackson);
-- the Sunset Limited route through Maricopa (replacing the line through Phoenix).

There were also some routes where passenger service went dark for a few years in the '70s and then returned, including the Lake Shore route west of Buffalo, the Adirondack route north of Albany and the Boston & Albany route west of Worcester, plus the Montrealer/Vermonter line north of Springfield.

And there was a period beginning in 1989 when the Montrealer was shifted onto the Central Vermont line from East Northfield, Mass., to New London, CT, which had been freight-only for many years,
 
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Dakota 400

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When I rode the National in 1978, there was no stop between Pittsburgh and Columbus, and nothing between Columbus and Dayton.
That's what I remember as well. Unsure of the exact year, but it was during the Carter Administration, that I boarded the National in Dayton for a round trip to New York.
 
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