D T & I Railroad in Lawrence County plus information about the C H & D Railroad updated 28 Nov., 2013

On February 2, 1848, a Special Act of the Ohio General Assembly authorized the incorporation of the Iron Railroad Company, and during 1849-50 a six-mile 4' 10" gauge line was built from Ironton to the Vesuvius Tunnel Mines and extended in 1853 to Center Station. The first trains used locomotives brought to Ironton via boats along the Ohio River. The only tunnel in the D T &I system is located near the north end of this original segment of the Iron Railroad. Typical of the era's primitive construction methods, cross ties were placed every six feet supporting timber stringers to which were spiked strap rails said to be obtained from the Little Miami Railroad. Timber bridges were supported by stone abutments. By 1858, though, the structure spanning Sterrns Creek north of Ironton was considered too weak to carry increased loads and a wrought iron bow-string truss bridge, patented by Thomas William Moseley and built by Moseley Iron Bridge Company and fabricated in Cincinnati, was erected over the stream. This wrought-iron bridge remained in service until 1924, when it was removed and placed on exhibition in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, some years later. The only tunnel in the D T &I system is located near the north end of this original segment of the Iron Railroad and was opened in 1851 with a length of 956 feet.

July 30, 1881, the Iron Railroad Company entered into an agreement with the Toledo, Delphos and Burlington Railroad Company (TD&B). The TD&B was narrow-gauge, and in accepting the agreement, the Iron Railroad allowed the TD&B to place its rails with a 3-foot gauge within the rails of the 4.10-foot gauge Iron Railroad at Dean to Ironton. The agreement allowed the TD&B to operate its narrow gauge trains into Ironton over that route. The Iron Railroad and the TD&B merged on October 21, 1881, retaining the TD&B insignia.

February 25, 1881, the line was consolidated with the Frankfort, St. Louis and Toledo Railroad. The name of the railroad after the consolidation was the Toledo, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad. As other railroads in the Midwest were standard gauge, the delay resulting in transferring freight at connections, the smaller capacity of the cars and financial woes, led the Toledo, Cincinnati and St. Louis to fall into receivership on June 28, 1884. The Iron Rail Company was organized on July 23, 1884, and was comprised only of the original Iron Railroad north of Ironton to Pedro. In a single day, April 6, 1887, the Iron Railway was converted to standard gauge of 4' 8-1/2." Another source gives the date as August 6, 1887.

Various spurs to serve quarries, coal mines and iron furnaces were built during the 1870s and 1880s to give the Iron a total length of 18.35 miles. For another 18 years, until September 25, 1902 when it was acquired by the Detroit Southern, the Iron Railroad continued its independent existence. Construction of an 18.6 mile extension north from Lisman to a connection with the Scioto Valley Railway, later known as the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern's Portsmouth to Hamden branch, at Bloom Junction was started May 1, 1901 by the Detroit Southern. Trackage rights over the B&O SW into Jackson were gained and and service into Ironton began June 13, 1903.

About 1929 permission was given by the ICC, to remove the two-mile branch built by the Iron Railroad form Bartles to Dean.


Iron Railroad Essex built 1837

Earliest know photo of the Iron Railroad showing the "Essex" a 4-2-0 built in 1837 and was purchased second hand from the Morris & Essex Railroad and delivered to Ironton by Ohio River barge.

photo from E. M. Neff collection

Iron Railway Eng :Thomas W. Means

Iron Railway locomotive "Thomas W. Means in Ironton c. 1887

M. E. Lyon Collection

Ironton Freight and Passenger Stati

Ironton Freight and Passenger station in 1905 used by both the Detroit Southern Railroad and C H & D. The C H & D operated until 1916 over the Iron Railway via Dean.

Jim Henry collection

Iron Railroad roundhouse with 2-8-b

The original Iron Railroad roundhouse with Number 113 , a 2-8-0, on the Armstrong turntable. This round house was flooded at least 7 times.

E. B. Novak collection

D T & I Ironton station D T & I Ironton Terminal

D. T. & I. Terminal at Ironton. This was torn down many years ago.

Joe Miller found this picture in Pictorial History of Lawrence County

D T & I train at Ironton 1977

D T & I train on Railroad Street in Ironton, Ohio 19 August 1977

D T & I bridge over Storms Creek

D T & I bridge over Storms Creek near Ironton

D T & I Bridge at Storms creek abt 2006 side view

Same D T & I bridge over Storms Creek near Ironton about 2006

photo by Rail1a

D T & I bridge later at Strorms Creek
Same D T & I bridge over Storms Creek near Ironton about 2006

photo by Rail1a

D T & I tunnel pic.with man on tracts

D T & I tunnel pic.with man on tracts

D T&I Tunnel view from Ironton side

Royersville Tunnel view from Ironton side in November 2009
picture by Joe Miller

D T & I tunnel with box car office

South end of Royersville Tunnel 

D T&I Tunnel entrance Ironton side

Royersville Tunnel entrance viewed from Ironton side in November 2009
picture by Joe Miller

Royersville tunnel entrance

Royersville Tunnel entrance viewed from Ironton side in November 2009
picture by Joe Miller

Royersville tunnel entrance

Royersville Tunnel entrance viewed from Ironton side in November 2009
picture by Joe Miller

Royersville Tunnel Ironton side

Royersville Tunnel viewed from Ironton side in November 2009
picture by Joe Miller

Royersville tunnel north entrance

Royersville Tunnel viewed from north end.
T. D. Dressler Photo

One of the railroad tunnel watchman was Samuel "Doc" Pleasant Wood.

D T&I train No. 956 leaving the Roye

Royersville Tunnel viewed from south end 22 December 1967 with train No. 956
T. D. Dressler Photo

D T&I Royersville Tunnel 1982

This is a 26 February 1982 view of the Royersville tunnel. The last train ran through just a few weeks later in early April 1982, before a large rock fell from the ceiling and the RR decided to close it. The CH&D RR shared this tunnel from 1882 to 1917 and for them they called it tunnel #4.

D T & I eng leaving tunnel

D T & I train leaving Royersville tunnel entrance viewed from Ironton pre April 1982

picture supplied by Joe Miller

D T & I leaving tunnel.

D T & I train leaving Royersville tunnel entrance viewed from Ironton pre April 1982

picture supplied by Joe Miller

 

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel North side

Royersville Tunnel viewed from north end.20 Mar. 2010

picture by Joe Miller

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel N. Side looking South into tunnel

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel North Side looking South into tunnel 20 Mar. 2010

picture by Joe Miller

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel just leaving tunnel N. side

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel just leaving tunnel N. side 20 Mar. 2010

picture by Joe Miller

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel looking into tunnel from North side

D. T. & I. Royersville Tunnel looking into tunnel from North side 20 Mar. 2010
picture by Joe Miller

The Royersville Tunnel, original called Vesuvius, opened in December 1851 which dates back to the construction of the Iron Railroad and was carved out of a seam of coal and was original 1050 feet long. Henry Ford had it shortened several feet after a major collapse. At it closure in 1982 it was 920 feet long. Because it was set in a ridge of moving butter rock and fireclay it presented a challenge to the railroads that operated through it. From either side it was an uphill grade to reach the tunnel and had a seven-degree thirty-minute curve in the middle of the tunnel. Train crews could not get an advance view to watch for fallen timbers or rocks and a full time tunnel watchman was used until 1933 and after that frequent track patrols was used.

Train speeds were restricted to 6 miles per hour through the tunnel. Engineers tried to maintain enough speed so that the engines would not have to work hard while in the tunnel especially the explosive exhaust of steam engines. Tunnel height was also a problem with a height of 15 feet 2 inches, it restricted car sizes.

The Iron Railway Company was chartered 7 Mar 1845 and was reorganized 23 Jul 1884 as the Iron Railroad Company,

Hear is a video on you tube and after approx. two minutes into the video it shows a movie that was taken when Henry Ford owned the D. T. & I. and it is in Ironton. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwMe7apW6fE

A competing railroad C H & D, existed for a while with the D T & I route to Jackson. The CH&D Wellston to Ironton route was abandoned in 1917, after B&O takeover. The mines along the route were closing. and when the B&O got it, the trackage had deteriorated. Besides, rock slides were a constant problem in the two tunnel cuts.

C H & D map showing route

Map showing route of the C H & D from Ironton to Jackson

Tunnel # 2 (Black Fork 4 mi. S of town, under Dry Ridge Tunnel/Negro Creek Rd., .5 mi south of Telegraph Hill Rd. N 38 46.550 W 082 35.233) was built around 1882 by the narrow gauge Toledo Cincinnati & St. Louis RR. It was standard gauged around 1887 after a series of receiverships and acquisitions. It eventually became part of the CH&D in 1891. The tunnel was originally rock lined with timber portals. The tunnel was 693 feet long (213 feet curved, 480 feet tangent). It was rebuilt and lined in 1916 creating the concrete portals now visible. It was abandoned in 1916 by the B&O. It has been reported that the west portal is filled in, east portal open partially filled in, and flooded.

C H & D tunnel # 2

C H & D Black Fork tunnel # 2 built about 1882

C H & D plaque at Tunnel # 2

C H & G plaque at tunnel # 2

C H & D Black Fork Tunnel c 2006

C H & D Black Fork # 2 Tunnel in 2006 south portal

C H & D Tunnel # 2 near Black Fork

C H & D Tunnel # 2 in 2006

C H & D Tunnel # 2 portal

C H & D Tunnel # 2 East portal

C H& D Train at Gallia, Ohio, east

C H& D Train at Gallia, Ohio, east of Oak Hill on the line to Ironton that was abandoned in 1916

Tunnel # 1 is about 1.5 mi. south of Campbell in Dean State Forest has since collapsed but roadbed is obvious.

The third tunnel at Royersville was shared with the Iron Rail Road.

Click tabs below for more train stuff.

D T & I Pictures D T & I in Ross Co., OH D T & I in Pike Co., OH
D T & I in Jackson Co., OH D T & I in Lawrence Co., OH 25 June 1917 D T & I Train Wreck
D T & I Steam Engines
B & O Railroad in Ross Co., OH B & O in Scioto Co. C. G. & P. Railroad
N & W in Scioto Co. Train wrecks Wellston-Jackson Belt Railroad

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