Ashland Railway

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Ashland Railway
Reporting mark ASRY
Locale North-Central Ohio
Dates of operation 1986–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Mansfield, Ohio
Website http://www.ashlandrailway.com

Ashland Railway (reporting mark ASRY) is a Class III railroad shortline railroad operating within North Central Ohio and based in Mansfield, Ohio. Since inception in 1986, Ashland Railway has grown to provide service 24 hours a day 7 days a week along 55 miles of track, to industries within Ashland, Huron, Richland and Wayne counties. ASRY interchanges with the Norfolk Southern Railway in Mansfield, The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway in Plymouth and CSX Transportation (CSXT) in Willard. The line runs southeast from Willard through Plymouth and Shelby, to Mansfield. From Mansfield the line runs northeast through Ashland and terminates in West Salem.

The Ashland Railway operates on two separate lines that connect in Mansfield, Ohio. The "original" Ashland mainline, which began operations in 1986, was purchased from Conrail. This line's heritage goes back to the Erie Lackawanna Railway (EL) and was their Chicago - New York main line. After Conrail took control of the Erie Lackawanna, most of its trackage was deemed redundant, and removed in vast sections. The portion east of West Salem and the portions west of Mansfield removed in about 1984. Conrail retained ownership of the EL line between Mansfield and Ontario, to service a GM plant. The crossing with the Conrail (former Pennsylvania Railroad) Ft. Wayne Line was removed, and spur tracks were built to interchange traffic on either side.

The second portion of the Ashland Railway is the Willard to Mansfield section. This was operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a line between the docks on Lake Erie to south-central Ohio, including the city of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Because of economic downturns in the 1980s, freight traffic declined drastically on this line, and it was later reduced to a branch line between Willard and Mansfield. By 1990, the new CSX Transportation was ready to part with this line, and sold it to the Ashland Railway as well. Before the purchase of the CSX line, the Ashland was marooned with only one railroad to interchange with: Conrail in Mansfield.

The railway has built a spur line to serve an industrial park in Ashland.[1]

In 1924, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was considering buying the Ashland Railway, a separate company from the current one by that name.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Minnear, Travis (November 25, 2008). "Rail spur will link to business park / Site preparation work under way near Faultless Drive". Times-Gazette. Ashland, Ohio. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ "BUY THE ASHLAND RAILWAY.; Van Sweringens to Add It to Chesapeake & Ohio". New York Times. April 2, 1924. p. 30. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Official website