The DT&I or Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad had its roots in Ironton, Ohio. The railroad can be traced back to the Iron Railway which was incorporated in 1849 to transport farm products and mineral products from the fields of Lawrence County to Ironton. It was Dr. Caleb Briggs who suggested making Ironton the final destination for this railroad.
In 1902, the Detroit Southern Railway bought the Iron Railway. Unfortunately, the line was in financial trouble and ended in bankruptcy in 1903.
In 1905, the courts released from the court to form the Detroit, Toledo, and Ironton Railway. Detroit, Toledo, and Ironton Railway also received control of the Ann Arbor Railroad. The new copy did not fair any better than the Detroit Southern Railroad. In 1908, just three years after gaining control of the older company, Detroit, Toledo, and Ironton Railway went bankrupt.
The railroad was reorganized again in 1914 to emerge as the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. The new company did not do much better than its predecessors. The United Railway Administration caused many problems for the company during World War I. The level of traffic, poor equipment, and failing rail lines caused many problems for the unstable company. When Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1920 demanded the railway rebuild the Rouge River bridge in Dearborn, Michigan, the railroad’s death knells could be heard. This change was to provide lake access for the Ford Motor Company, but DT&I did not have the money. To solve the problem, Henry Ford bought the company….
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