CH&D Railroad

Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton (CH&D) Railroad 

Construction of the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad (CH & D) began in the Miami Valley in 1846. The railway was completed in 1851 and officially began operation connecting Cincinnati and Hamilton, Ohio. Soon, the railroad stretched onward to Dayton. The line originally ran a total of 59.07 miles.

The Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railway Company, who owned and operated the CH & D, began to acquire more railroad lines throughout the next 40 years. Beginning in 1863, it operated the Dayton & Michigan RR. Joining the Atlantic and Great Western RR in 1865 gave commuters access to New York and other eastern points. The Ohio and Mississippi RR became part of the CH & D RR linking Cincinnati and St. Louis and western points through Indiana and Illinois. Eventually the CH & D operated additional lines connecting to Indianapolis, Chicago, Richmond, Ironton, Louisville, and Decatur.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the company controlled over 640 miles of track. There were 34 locomotives, 30 passenger cars, and 437 freight cars. The railway included parlors, cafe-coaches, dining cars, baggage, and mail cars. Construction supplies as well as agricultural and petroleum products were transported in freight cars. In 1904, the railroad was not able to handle the volume of passenger and freight business. With this came financial challenges and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad agreed to purchase the line in 1909. Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad was sold at auction in Dayton and became part of the Baltimore & Ohio.


This railroad connected with the Iron Railroad / DT&I at Bartles Station (present day SR 93 at Texas Hollow/SR 373). The railway went out Texas Hollow, cut through a couple tunnels, then looped around to present day SR 93/CR 14. From there the rail bed is very visible along 93 and the tracks are still present in Oak Hill. Take a look at this 1887 map that shows part of the railroad.






















Tunnel #2 was built around 1882 by the narrow gauge Toledo, Cincinnati & St Louis Railroad. It was standard guaged 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. It was 693 feet long and was rebuilt/lined in 1916, creating the concrete portals now visible. The CH&D was absorbed into the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) network and became the Toledo Division. The railroad south of Wellston, totaling 35 miles, was abandoned due to a lack of originating traffic and flooding that had washed out much of the line.

Tunnel No. 1 is located on the former Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad (CH&D) Ironton Branch near Hoadley, Ohio. The tunnel, completed in 1882 by the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad (TC&StL), featured a brick lining.