The Chesapeake & Ohio West End


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This all-color pictorial covers the western end of the magnificent Chesapeake & Ohio, a railroad long revered as one of the greatest on this continent. Photographic coverage begins with the C&O in Michigan, whose presence there began with the absorption of the Pere Marquette in 1947. Termed by the C&O as the PM District," the fascinating Pere Marquette was comprised of a web of trackage across the Wolverine state. The PM was dominated by the Chicago-Detroit mainline, and included a far-flung tentacle to Buffalo across southern Ontario. Branchlines crisscrossed the state, and rare color photography in this volume gives a glimpse into Class I branchline operations that are now mostly relegated to the pages of history.

The Chicago Division was C&O's attempt to access the markets of Chicago, America's rail capitol; an attempt that came to fruition with an impressive array of manifest and coal traffic. Stretching across the bucolic southwestern Ohio and northern Indiana countrysides, the "Straight Line," as C&O men called it, connected the great rail centers of the Windy City with Cincinnati, Ohio's Queen City. By the time color film came along, the Chicago Division had lost all passenger trains, and itself would be severed in the 1980s, its traffic a victim of mergers rather than a failure of "The Straight Line."

The Cincinnati & Russell Division was the might and power of the C&O. Covered in detail are the challenging operations on the Cheviot Subdivision, the C&O's great climb out of Cincinnati to the west. The mainline east of Cincinnati connected the Queen City with Russel, Kentucky, the heart of the C&O. Additionally, the Northern Subdivision routed traffic across the world's most massive bridge, connecting Russell with Columbus, Ohio and providing an important outlet for coal moving to the Great Lakes at Toledo.

This volume captures the majesty of the C&O in a simpler era, when numerous Class I railroads served the great industries of America. Full-color maps illustrate the C&O's routes, and stunning color photography covers the passing of this important eastern road in the early diesel era.


Chapter 1: Lake to Lake - The Wolverine State • Pere Marquetter District

Chapter 2: The Straight Line • Chicago Division

Chapter 3: Might and Power • Cincinnati and Russell Division

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