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Summit Hill The Balloon Route over The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad
Scott D. Trostel
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Date Listed:
2013-11-18 13:41:45
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Untitled Document

Summit Hill

The Balloon Route over The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad

By Scott D. Trostel.

Softcover, 8.5x11", 64 pages, b/w photos, illustrations, maps. 2013.

"This book was produced in 1987 and taken out of print in 1990. Iit is back in 2013 with a revisions, improved maps, and added photos.

"The introduction of railroad transportation into the State of Ohio marked a dramatic beginning in the industrial growth period of the state. With the railroad industry could be assured of continuous movement of raw materials and finished goods — something the network of Ohio canals and rivers were unable to do. Railroads could go anywhere that tracks could be laid and they certainly proved it on one isolated stretch of railroad in Roas and Pike Counties of Ohio.

"The interests of Springfield, Ohio, industrialists in tapping the high grade supply of coal in Jackson County in the 1870s prompted the formation of the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad to build a narrow gauge railroad into the coal lands. The small railroad was severely under financed and forced to use donated right-of-way on one stretch of track that by-passed the major City of Chillicothe in favor of isolated and hilly country.

"Known as Summit Hill, this area on the railroad was seventeen miles of tight curves, heavy grades and amultiple of horse shoe curves that compared/with the Horse Shoe Curve at Altoona, Pennsylvania, or Rocky Mountain style construction in the west.

"The beauty of the area was a drawing card for many excursion trains, but it was dangerous and sometimes deadly for railroad men with many wrecks and run-away trains on the Hill. The railroads that operated on it over the years all regarded it as a major obstacle and costly to operate.

"There was a quaintness about the twisting and turning of the railroad to get over the hill and in the many small stations that dotted the line along its path, but it all ended in 1982 with abandonment of the line after 104 years of operation as the most dangerous stretch of railroad in Ohio."