The Western Ohio Railway is a freelanced regional railroad operating from Jackson and Detroit Michigan in the north, to Cincinnati,
Ohio in the south and Portsmouth, Ohio to the east. The Western Ohio started operation in 1970.
The creation of the Penn Central in the 1960s created a lot of parallel trackage, where the Pennsylvania and New York Central use to compete.
Lines no longer needed were soon abandoned, creating opportunities for shortlines and regional carriers. One such line was a
New York Central route running from Bryan, OH, west of Toledo south to Cincinnati.
The Penn Central sold the line from Bryan to Carlisle to the founders of the Western Ohio. In Bryan, the Western Ohio
interchanged with the Penn Central, which operated the east-west line from Toledo, OH to Chicago, IL. At Carlisle,
the Western Ohio had interchanges with both the Baltimore and Ohio and Penn Central. In addition to the two terminal
interchanges, the Western Ohio, had access to other interchanges, including the Baltimore and Ohio at Sherwood, the
Norfolk and Western at Latty (ex- Nickel Plate), Ohio City (ex-Wabash), Celina (ex-Nickel Plate), Penn Central at Ansonia.
Business originally was primarily to service the local industries in the various towns along the line. If the line had been
completely abandoned, dozens of industries would have been devastated by the loss of rail service. But there was very little
through traffic on the line, except for some extras the Penn Central would send over the line relieve congestion off their
In 1971, the Penn Central sold the Michigan portion of this same line from Bryan, OH to Jackson and Ypsilanti, MI in the north.
In case you are wondering, no consideration was ever given to incorporating Michigan into the railroad's name. The founder of
the Western Ohio is an avid fan of Ohio State football, and the "Western Ohio and that state up north" is way too long for a railroad name.
As the Penn Central continued to struggle and eventually fail, the Western Ohio acquired several branch lines up and down the main.
The Western Ohio also acquired usage rights to Conrail lines into Detroit and Toledo. The Western Ohio was also given access to
use the engine facilities at Toledos Airline Yard by Conrail. In the south, the Western Ohio gained tracks rights from Carlisle
to Sharon Yard and Gest Street Yard in Cincinnati.