Railroad Development

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Facts

Rail track:6,140 miles
Railroad crossings:6,590

The Early Years

In 1838, workers built the first railroad in Ohio. By 1850, there were 299 miles of railroad track in Ohio. In 1860, the state's railroad system had grown to include 2,946 miles of track, making Ohio first in the nation.

The railroads became very important for Ohio's cities and towns. They created thousands of new jobs. Farmers and businessmen benefited by being linked with national and world markets. By the 1890s, Ohio had 8,951 miles of track.

Then in 1908, the state had 9,581 miles of track. This was the most that Ohio ever had.

The 1900s

Following the Second World War, as both gasoline and new cars became available, people began to rely less on railroads and more on highways. Then, during the 1950s and 1960s, as work on the new interstate highway system progressed, railroads became even less used. And during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Ohio's railroads abandoned hundreds of miles of track. By the mid 1990s, the state had 6,531 miles of railroad track, down from 9,581 miles in 1908.

See Also