Last Run to Johnson-Doppler Lumber

    On December 9, 2003, CSX "Yard 2 Job" Y129-09 made the last run north of the Western Hills Viaduct on the former Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton mainline.  This route, now CSX's Cincinnati Industrial Track, was downgraded in 1970 when the Head-On Connection at Winton Place was built, enabling Toledo Division trains to utilize the Ohio Division main and bypass the many grade crossings of Northside and Cumminsville.  The line remained intact to serve customers south of Cumminsville.  The northernmost customer was Johnson-Doppler Lumber, located north of the Mill Creek Road crossing in Cumminsville.  Unfortunately, they were the only customer north of the Western Hills Viaduct after the 1980's drew to a close and they shipped by rail infrequently.  Thus, the line north of the Viaduct was endangered for quite sometime.

    This is a photo essay of the last run to Johnson-Doppler.  A carload of lumber was delivered to Johnson-Doppler by Y129 on December 9.  However, track conditions had become so poor that it was deemed too risky to pick up the car once it had been unloaded a week later, so it was decided to use a backhoe to pull the empty car south to the Viaduct for the Yard 2 Job to pick up.  Thus, the delivery of the loaded car was the last train to operate to Johnson-Doppler.

Looking out the window of the caboose as we depart Yard 2.

Switching Hill & Griffith in Lower Price Hill.

We begin the slow trip north to Johnson-Doppler.  There is no runaround track at the north end of the line, so the car has to be shoved the entire four-plus mile distance.  This photo shows us approaching the Western Hills Viaduct.

Conductor Terry Sandfoss keeps a close eye on the track ahead as we crawl north at 5mph or less.

Along Beekman Street in South Fairmount.

Stopped to have heavy debris removed from the track and a van parked too close moved.

The debris and van.

Y129's crew: Brakeman Danny Webster, Conductor Terry Sandfoss, and Engineer Dave Combs wait for the track to be cleared.

After a half hour delay, we finally got the car to the customer.  The crew is getting instructions from Industrial Yardmaster Don Furnish for the return trip.

Preparing to depart Johnson-Doppler for the last time.

These rails will not feel the weight of a locomotive again....  Southbound at Mill Creek Road crossing.

Going through Cumminsville.

Passing the closed grain elevator along the Mill Creek at North Fairmount.

We're south of Hopple Street and the Western Hills Viaduct looms ahead.

Passing Hill & Griffith in Lower Price Hill.

We just went under 8th Street and one of the few remaining "tell-tales" in the Cincinnati area.

Crossing the Mill Creek and approaching Cincinnati Junction and Yard 2.

We have just crossed the Oklahoma Track at Cincinnati Junction and arrive at Yard 2, our run complete.

A few other photos of the Cincinnati Industrial Track in recent years....

Ducking under the tell-tales at 8th Street in Lower Price Hill.

Just north of the Western Hills Viaduct.

In South Fairmount, the locomotive is about to go under Hopple Street as Queensgate Yard and downtown Cincinnati can be seen in the background.

Departing Cumminsville with a car from Johnson-Doppler.

My thanks go out to Division Manager Steve Truitt, Industrial Yardmaster Don Furnish, Danny Webster, Terry Sandfoss, and Dave Combs for permitting me the opportunity to document this occasion.

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