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    There 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 author.


     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 fresh ballast.
Looking north towards Home Road, from the siding up to the active switch with the mainline.
     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.

Looking south, towards Rutherford Road; notice the ties branching off to the left           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.

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Wellston & Jackson Belt Railway
Chris Burchett


     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 Railway's 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.


HOCKING VALLEY
ELECTRIC MOTOR CARS 11 AND 12

Compiled by Ed Miller

Builder

Barney & Smith Car Company

Date

1904

Underframe

wood

Lighting

electric

Length:  over end sills
             coupled

48" 11"
59' 2"

Height:  extreme
            roof (from rail)
            eaves (from rail)

12' 1"
12' 1"
9' 11"

Wheels (two four-wheel trucks)

33"

Truck wheelbase

6' 6"

Truck centers

38' 0"

Air brake

Westinghouse, 10"

Journals

3" x 7"

Weight

75,000 pounds

 

1Miller, Edward, and Carl Shaver, Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Magazine, November 1978.
2Turner, Charles W., Thomas W. Dixon, Jr., and Eugene L. Huddleston, Chessie's Road; Second Edition.  Chesapeake & Ohio
  Historical Society, 1997.
3Hocking Valley Railway Company, Fifth Annual Report, June 30, 1904.



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The Hocking Valley Railway by Edward H. Miller (2006)
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!


Updated 27 Oct 2008 10:07:21

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