Columbus and Xenia Railroad

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The Columbus and Xenia Railroad was the first railroad to operate in Columbus, Ohio. By merging with the Little Miami Railroad it created the first through rail route from the important manufacturing city of Cincinnati to the state capital, Columbus.


Route of the Columbus and Xenia Railroad

The Columbus and Xenia Railroad was chartered on March 12, 1844. Among its early leaders was William Dennison, the future Governor of Ohio.

share of the Columbux & Xenia Railroad Company from 1st September 1849


Construction was begun in 1848 and the first passenger train ran on February 20, 1850, from Columbus to Xenia. It took 34 hours and five minutes to traverse the 54 mile distance. On February 27, regular train service began, utilizing a shed in Franklinton on the west side of the Scioto River as a station. It took until December 14 to complete a railroad bridge across the Scioto so that the station at North High Street and Naughten Streets could be used. On March 2, 1850, both Houses of the Ohio General Assembly took a free ride from Columbus to Xenia at a speed of 25 mph.

Expansion and merger[edit]

In 1853 the Columbus and Xenia Railroad and the Little Miami Railroad entered into a contract to operate as one line. In 1868 the railroad was leased to the Little Miami Railroad, and in 1869 both properties were leased to the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, which eventually became a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

See also[edit]


  • Steiner, Rowlee. "A Review of Columbus Railroads", 1952, unpublished 125 page manuscript available from the library of the Ohio Historical Society, 1982 Velma Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43211