Thursday, September 10, 2009


We'll get back to Point Pleasant soon, but first a side trip to Jackson, Ohio. Jackson isn't on the Ohio River, but when I was there visiting family on Labor Day, I saw something that brought back a lot of river city memories.

On a side track of a local railroad, there sat three cabooses -- all worn out and waiting for someone to restore them. 

The one in the back was from the Baltimore & Ohio. The gold B&O emblem -- the Capitol dome -- stood out on the blue background, but its yellow paint was cracked.

In front of the B&O caboose was a red one bearing the letters NW.

And in front of that was one from the old Detroit Toledo & Ironton, also known as the DT&I.

The B&O owned and operated the line along the Ohio River in West Virginia until it became absorbed first by the Chessie System and then by CSX. The NW, now Norfolk Southern, has a busy line with double tracks along the Ohio from South Point OH to a yard in Portsmouth OH.

The DT&I had minimal if any trackage along the river. I remember when the DT&I ran trains to Ironton OH, although I have no idea how often. I remember seeing a locomotive pulling a few cars there on Railroad Street. But DT&I service to Ironton ended in the 1980s, I think. As best I recall, the tracks have been paved over. Now Railroad Street is a wide right-of-way running past the post office and the building that once housed City Hall. A generation has grown up knowing little if anything about how Railroad Street got its name.

Here's the Ohio River connection that I noticed. Take a look at the DT&I logo on the side of the caboose.

I thought it was interesting until I realized it was a compass rose -- the thing you see on a map to point north.

It reminded me of something I saw on the Ohio River in the 1980s.

This emblem of the Ohio River Co. was on the starboard stack of the mv. Omar when it was an Ohio River Co. boat. I always thought this was a cool logo, but until I saw the DT&I logo on Labor Day, I never made the connection between the Ohio River Co. logo and a compass rose.

You learn something new every holiday.

(If anyone wants me to put more pics up of these cabooses, let me know).