Scioto Division/Columbus District line relocation?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Oct 17 13:25:08 EDT 2008

In reply to Ted, Joyce Avenue Yard was built originally in 1890-1893 time
period ( Columbus Connecting Terminal Ry) and the east end of the yard
curved to a north-south track mainline that paralleled Woodland Avenue and
crossed the B&O/PRR Columbus Newark (the C-N) mainline at grade (Leonard and
Maryland Avenues, too). The Scioto Valley Railway/Scioto Valley and New
England Railroad came to "Caldwell" or what would become Yard B for the
PRR's St Clair Avenue Yard. Due to the 1908 Columbus City ordinance, all
railroad were required to remove grade crossings. In Columbus, this took a
while. The N&W did elevate the tracks over Maryland Avenue about 1910 and
did others in that area too. But the need for the at-grade crossing of the
C-N was required due to the need for interchange there. This original
configuration meant that the N&W had to double heavy coal trains that were
required to stop at the east end of Joyce, get permission to cross the C-N
mainline ( virtually a four-track mainline for the PRR Pan Handle Division)
and then climb up into Joyce. Quite a hassle and one can only imagine
trying to get across the PRR Pan Handle with its high level of traffic as
the Pan Handle was the Pittsburg-Indianapolis- St Louis mainline with a big
branch splitting off to Chicago at Logansport.

In 1927 Joyce was expanded greatly into Bexley as part of the improvement in
the facilities for coal traffic. The PRR improved the Sandusky branch and
made the big coal pier there, too- No. 3 pier. Joyce was expanded and the
Pennor tracks (There was an old NYC line around the top of Joyce that was
cut off and taken over partially by the PRR for these tracks.) were added to
the north side of Joyce for the Sandusky traffic (there was considerable PRR
coal traffic that left Joyce from the middle tracks of Joyce that went over
to the Bradford side of the PRR to Chicago through Indiana, too) Joyce
became a big 'question mark' at its east end. The crossing of the C-N was
eliminated and the N&W's 'high line' was created with overpasses well to the
south of Joyce and essentially starting at the Infirmary Yard at Refugee
Road. Watkins Yard was built after this Joyce expansion as a 'light' yard
for the collection of empties heading eastbound. I think this was all
completed by mid-1930; one of the N&W mags has the Broad Street Overpass on
the cover. The high line eliminated the diamond issue and the Joyce Avenue
Yard grade issues for coal trains getting into Joyce. In addition the
longer tracks allowed long coal trains to be pulled directly into Joyce or
Pennor. This was the time period when the Y-3's and Y-4's really took over
the heavy traffic on the Scioto Division from Z's, too; much longer trains
were possible.

The PRR built up Grogan Yard for this traffic as well and its tracks were
moved from the east side of the Ohio State Fair Grounds to the west to get
the right curve out of Grogan with improved grade. The PRR still needed
helpers/pushers from Grogan up to Worthington Tower.

Note , too that the N&W used to have a set of sidings on the 'west' side of
Lockbourne as well as at Miner for coal traffic.

I apologize if I am in slight error as to some of this as I am doing it from
memory; Rick Tipton of the PRRT&HS is working up a book on the PRR in
Columbus as a gang of us has gone through much of the timeline of railroad
development Columbus for about the last three years covering all of this.

Gary Rolih



From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 12:09 PM
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Re: Scioto Division/Columbus District line relocation?

I'm not familiar with the N&W's Lockbourne relocation (Airbase is now
Rickenbacker). I'll keep my eyes open for information.

The sizable grade separation that Mr Newton perhaps was referring to was
further West of Lockbourne in the late '20's. It may be called 'near'
Columbus, but the improvement occured along the RR right through what is now
the middle of old Columbus a couple track-miles East of Joyce Avenue.

It was, indeed, a sizable project raising the railroad probably 20'
vertically beginning from somewhere around the Watkins yard area extending
to Joyce Ave and creating overpasses at several of Columbus' main E/W
streets. Joyce Ave yard was enlarged substantially. The Broad Street
overpass was a particularly handsome structure which became a classy gateway
to Columbus for Westbound street traffic. It made the cover in the N&W
Magazine. I'll look it up.

Ted Goodman

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: nw-mailing-list at
Sent: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 10:49 am
Subject: Re: Scioto Division/Columbus District line relocation?

Usually, when a line is relocated, it results in "long"

miles (more than 5,280 ft.)or "short" miles (less than

5.280 ft.). Although there is only one perfect mile

in that area (MP 691-692), there is no great deviation

in the mileage Ashville to Valley Crossing. Because

the Lockbourne lead trailed from the westbound

track, maybe it refers to its construction.

If I remember correctly, Louis Newton told me there

was a sizeable grade separation project that took

place closer to Columbus in the 1930's.



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