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Alright, everyone since this is my first post, I'll start off with some prototype information.
The Hocking Valley was a coal-hauler chartered in the early 1860's from a connection with the B&O in Athens, Ohio, to Columbus for interchange with other railroads and to reach markets. Eventually, they reached Logan Ohio and built the first of two yards. The first yard was called oldtown and was situated between the service facilities and the Depot for Logan.
Logan along with Nelsonville to the east become marshaling yards for the coal mines reaching into the rich seams north of the Hocking River. A secondary division was built south of Logan down to Gallipolis and then Pomeroy on the Ohio River, before coming back north to rejoin the main at Athens. An interchange was laid in West of Logan with the Pensy at Lancaster.
Multiple industries were situated at Lancaster, the main one being Hocking-Anchor Glass Plant No. 2. The same building and track arrangement is there and fully active to this day. Upon reaching Columbus, the company realized they could realize an even greater profit by building a nice double track line to Toledo and sending the coal to dock themselves. The Columbus and Toledo subsidiary was organized to build the route and eventually folded in.
At this point, the name was changed from the Columbus, Hocking Valley, and Toledo to simply the Hocking Valley.
The railroad built Wallbridge yard in Toledo along with their own docks and coal unloaders. The yard roadbed and docks are still in existence with CSX using the former running tracks to serve a chemical plant next to the old coal wharf. Additionally, the Hocking had half ownership in the Kanawha and Michigan subsidiary along with the New York Central.
Central eventually bought all the stock and folded it into the Toledo and Ohio Central and then into the New York Central proper. C&O finally acted on all the stock they had bought and fully absorbed the Hocking and moving the railroad's shops to the yard and roundhouse facilities in Columbus.
Most of the branches died out in the 20's and 30's during the Great Depression, with the River Division to Pomeroy lasting into the 60's and finally the Monday Creek Branch being the last weed-chocked line to go in the early 70's.
C&O filed for permission to abandon the line and it was sold to the Indiana and Ohio who took over in the mid 70's. The river division and branches except for the Monday Creek Branch were left to be reclaimed by nature, the easternmost limit of freight service being the six or seven customers left in Logan and.
Here's what's left currently. Toledo to Columbus is CSX's still-doubletracked Toledo Sub. The original yard site in Columbus sits vacant and Abandoned, all operations taking place in the new yard just west of N&W's former facility. Columbus to Logan is the property of the Indiana and Ohio, complete with the Anchor-Hocking Industrial park, the only new industry since the 70's.
Logan to Nelsonville is the Hocking Valley Scenic, and the final stretch to Athens is the Athens-Adena rail-trail. Everything else is abandoned and long-gone, the only ghost of the past left being the roadbed visible if you know what to look for.
Whew, that's a lot. I'll call pause there and detail the what, when, and where of my modeling next time. Until then, check out my YouTube channel and stay train-crazy!!!
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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