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Toledo & Western RR
The T&W was built in 1900 and 1901 from Toledo to Adrian, MI, as a short line railroad but to interurban standards. It was designed for both freight and passenger service. Another line was built to Pioneer by 1903. After several reorganizations, passenger service was abandoned in 1933. The majority of the traffic after that time was the shipment of automobiles from Toledo to Adrian. The Pioneer line was abandoned except for small portions which were operated by the Ohio & Morenci and the Pioneer & Fayette. These companies operated with small gas locomotives. Final abandonment of the T&W came in 1935. Part of that line was operated by electrics as the Blissfield for less than a year. It was then taken over by the O&M using a gas locomotive. The original O&M line was abandoned in 1950, The Blissfield line quit in 1954. The P&F cut back to a half mile and may still be operating.
Andre Kristopans has provided more information on the final days of this line as well as roster information.
Interestingly, the whole route is still easily followable, after over 65 years, all the way into almost downtown Toledo, as most of it is a power line right of way. Almost all stations still survive, as do other buildings.
Some final history: T&W was abandoned in 1935. The segment from Toledo to Adrian was sold to a junk man, Joseph Schonthal in June 1935. He resumed service as the "Toledo & Blissfield RR" However, within months, a highway widening job caused the abandonment of the line from Toledo to Blissfield, with the line being renamed the "Blissfield RR". Electric operation, which was using ex-T&W steeplecab #404 was given up, with the Plymouth 30-tonner #61 being brought in instead. This loco had been acquired by Schonthal from some industry he had previously scrapped out. By late 1936, the village of Blissfield kicked the railroad off the streets, now reducing it to a tiny stub servng a sugar beet refinery. At this point, operation was turned over to the "Ohio & Morenci RR" still with the same Plymouth. When this went out of business in 1954, all operations ceased. However, most track at the sugar plant site is still intact, but the property is now used for dumpster storage. The next part to survive was from Allen Junction to Morenci, as the "Ohio & Morenci". Another Schonthal operation, this one also had an old Plymouth #52. After the T&B went out, the track east of Berkey was given up in 1938, with the rest following in 1951, following demands to repair street trackage. The final piece was the "Pioneer & Fayette", running from Pioneer to Fayette. Most of this was abandoned in 1943, except for the interchange track with the Nickel Plate at Alvordton, about midway along the line. Freight was transloaded onto P&F trucks for final delivery. In 1954, Schonthal retired and sold the line to a couple of local people. By th 1980's the line (barely a block long) was totally overgrown and the loco was sitting derelict. However in 1986, somebody got some grant money to totally rebuild everything. All new rail, ties, heavy ballast, and a full rebuild (including a Buick auto motor) for the Plymouth. This was intended to be an unloading point for grain for a large hog farm nearby. However, NS did not cooperate, and the last 50 feet to the NS remained unrepaired, and the NS switch remained spiked. Nothing ever used the "rebuilt P&F", though the loco was apparently fired up and moved about a couple of times. About 1998 or so, the owner died, and the line was quietly ripped up.
Crew employees were proud to be on this line.
1 and 2 were built by Jewett in 1901 and were later rebuilt as 60 and 61.
3 thru 8 were built by Jewett in 1902. 3, 5, and 8 were later rebuilt as 59, 58, and 57.
21 thru 23 were standard Cincinnati curve side lightweight cars built in 1921. They became parts of a diner at Oakshade OH in 1935 called the White City Diner. They remained intact, in use, until a kitchen fire in about 2000 destroyed the place. A wood car, 61, was a second diner across the parking lot from the White City. While this diner closed in 1960, the car was apparently still intact until the White City fire, when it too was demolished. It might have caught fire, too.
29 and 30 were combination cars built by Jewett in 1901.
51 and 52 were combination RPO cars built by Jewett in 1901.
53 thru 55 were combination cars built by Niles in 1905.
61 was rebuilt from 2. For disposition, see above.
80 was built by Brill Car Co in July 1915, #19733. It was sold as Toledo & Indiana RR 54 in 1934 and sold as Gaylord Container Co 3 in 1939. It was scrapped.
400 (35 Ton) was home built in 1902.
401 (50 Ton) was home built in 1905.
402 was home built in 1907.
403 (60 Ton) was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in July 1915, #42220. In February 1934 it was sold to T&I as 80 and in 1939 it became Toledo Edison Co 3. It was preserved by Grand Rapids Electric Ry and transferred to Sylvania Historical Village in 2005.
404 was built by General Electric in August 1926, #10173. It became Toledo-Blissfield 404 in 1935.
405 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in May 1927, #60048. In 1935 it was sold to Youngstown & Southern Ry as 101 and scrapped in 1953.
Ohio & Morenci RR
61, 35 Ton, ML8, was built by Plymouth in 1936, #3836, as Blissfield RR 61. It became O&M 61 in 1936 and sold as Nezperce RR 11 in 1954. It was sold as Union RR of Oregon 2 in 1979 and retired in 1989. It was sold to Rick Franklin Corp as RFRX 2 in 1993.
Pioneer & Fayette RR
10, HLB 25 Ton, was built by Plymouth in April 1936, #3835. It was formerly 102 and rebuilt in 1970. It was sold to Colasanti's Tropical Garden in December 1993 and lettered as Buckwheat & Durham RR 1. It became W. G. Thompson & Sons Ltd 1 in January 1996.
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