are many anecdotes in regards to the Hocking Valley past and
present. These "tidbits" are provided here from myself
and others. Do you have an article you would like to submit?
Please contact me.
Remnants of the Powell Wye
Rich Wood. Photos by the
Took my bike over to the Powell Wye the other
day, and there really isn't much left. There is still a siding there
(the wye must have run off of this siding?) which appears to still be
used on the north end. There is still a switch there and some fairly
If this was indeed where the wye was, then all
the track and nearly all the ties have been ripped up. There are a
couple spots where you can see some ties branching off of the siding.
I'm guessing this is where the switches were for the ends of the wye.
I followed what I thought to be the old bed of the wye back into the
woods. The ground is still elevated in what appears to be road bed.
I'm going to go back there next winter, as it will be a lot easier to
see stuff with the leaves down.
The track in the switch is not welded; it is
marked on the side "Carnegie E T USA 1926". There is a
lot of debris (old ties and some old track) back in the woods on the
east side. Maybe that is some junk torn out from the old wye.
Wellston & Jackson
The W&JB was
incorporated on January 22, 1895 and was built by the Columbus, Hocking
Valley & Toledo, the last named company owning all capital and
bonds. The line was opened to traffic on December 1, 1895, and to
Jackson on February 10, 1896.2 The Hocking Valley
Fifth Annual Report states it was a total of 17.5 miles.3
According to Ed Miller, the Hocking
Valley may have been the only major C&O predecessor to have electric
interurbans on its roster1. In 1903, it leased the ten
cars of the Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway, the line of which it
had been operating since 1900. These ten cars, five motors and
five trailers, had been built by in 1896 by the Barney & Smith Car
Company of Dayton, Ohio.
In 1904, the HV placed an order for two
more motor cars from Barney & Smith. These cars were numbered
11 and 12 (the original motor cars were numbered 1-5 and the trailers
were numbered 6-10), and they "cost the Company $13,868.19."2
(See table below for build data.)
The Wellston & Jackson Belt operated with a
current collection system that was extremely unusual -- the trolley wire
was mounted on the west side of the right-of-way, and the trolley poles
were on the corresponding side of the motor cars, mounted just below the
clerestory and situated above the front axle of the rear truck.
Only one pole per motor was needed, as the cars were never turned.1
In 1915, the Hocking Valley scrapped the
trolley-style system, continuing operation over the Dundas-Jackson branch only
as a "steam road."
As for the equipment, two of the original
trailers were retired in 1914. By the end of 1916, all of the 1896
equipment was gone. Motor cars 11 and 12 were still on the roster
in 1917, but were gone by the end of the year.
Today, the W&JB is almost non-existent.
The right-of-way between Wellston and Lake Alma, a few miles outside of
town, is now a rail-trail used by hikers and bicyclists to access Alma.
The Great Miami & Scioto Railway operates a small portion of the
W&JB around Jackson, but the rest has been allowed to return to
nature. Most of the parallel B&O was/is used from Dundas.
Surviving structures include the Jackson and Wellston depots. Evidence that the
Wellston depot was a W&JB building is from a photograph found, according to
J. Michael Stroth, during restoration work inside the depot. This
depot appears to be the largest brick depot wholly owned by the Belt.
ELECTRIC MOTOR CARS 11 AND 12
by Ed Miller
& Smith Car Company
roof (from rail)
eaves (from rail)
Edward, and Carl Shaver, Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Magazine,
2Turner, Charles W., Thomas W. Dixon, Jr., and Eugene L.
Huddleston, Chessie's Road; Second Edition. Chesapeake
Historical Society, 1997.
3Hocking Valley Railway Company, Fifth Annual Report, June
The Hocking Valley Railway
By Ed Miller
Be sure to get your copy of Mr. Miller's comprehensive print resource of
the Hocking Valley Railway. Click
here to order your copy today!
27 Oct 2008 10:07:21
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