Author Topic: St.Joseph Valley Railway  (Read 2215 times)

w_stafa

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St.Joseph Valley Railway
« on: April 17, 2018, 08:15:44 AM »
A couple things are happening this evening.  First for most Americans is tax filing deadline.  The second interesting only a few is the 100 anniversary of the end of the St. Joe Railway.  The last electric car from Bristol to Elkhart arrived at midnight.  The non electrified Bristol to Columbia, Oh. lasted till tomorrow April 18. 

The two divisions meet at a nice off street station in Bristol.  The lot for the station is the Key Bank.  The eastern non electrified division used steam engines for freight and gas mechanical cars for passengers.  Its operation centered around La Grange.  As far as Columbia, Oh goes, the hamlet is so small the Google Maps doesn't recognise it.  To find it on the map look for the place that the OhioTP and US20 cross the state line.  Follow US20 east from the stateline east till you come to the first crossroad, less than a mile.  You are there.  By the time it arrived in 1915 the management of the T&W had lost interest  in closing the 13 mile gap to the end of its track in Pioneer, Oh.  So the last piece to connect Toledo to Chicago directly was never done.

You can find bits of information with internet searches but the best source remains the 1955 ERHS bulletin written by prehistoric interurban fans Joseph Galloway, a policeman from Toledo and James Buckley.

Walt Stafa

StateLine-IndianaCity

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Re: St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 08:08:14 PM »
100 years.....

Did the 1955 ERHS bulletin have maps showing the route and/or location of that line?  I'm curious if it paralleled the Pumpkinvine (LS&MS - NYC - Penn Central) line in the Middlebury and Shipshewana area.  http://www.abandonedrails.com/Goshen_to_Findley

GP30M4216

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Re: St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 11:12:58 PM »
I love how the right-of-way is still largely visible alongside SR-120 going west from the Bristol town line toward Elkhart.  Anyone ever see a photo of a car/train on this stretch of line?

w_stafa

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Re: St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 10:39:32 AM »
While the maps in the 1955 ERHS Bulletin are not too detailed, it does show that the line paralleled the NYC line between Middlebury and Shipshewana.  Crossing the railroad in Middlebury and running the south side with it through Shipshewana.  Spitting with it when the railroad turns toward the northeast.  The interurban continues straight eastward from that point.

Walt Stafa

Rick

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St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 04:35:51 PM »
I love how the right-of-way is still largely visible alongside SR-120 going west from the Bristol town line toward Elkhart.  Anyone ever see a photo of a car/train on this stretch of line?
I have not but I wonder if the Bristol or Elkhart historian would have one.  I believe the Elkhart historian is an older man name Thomas but not for sure. 

Also while bike riding the pumpkin vine trail they do have some photos along the route detailing the history.  I donít remember if there are any containing the inter urban


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TomB

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Re: St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 06:34:32 PM »
The St. Joseph Valley Railway is covered extensively in H. Roger Grant's excellent book "Twilight Rails" which came out a few years ago.  He devotes an entire chapter to it.

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/447796/pdf

https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/twilight-rails

Eel_River

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Re: St.Joseph Valley Railway
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 10:11:55 PM »
Here are some websites that will help primarily with the east end, but some of the west end, too:

http://www.fwarailfan.net/community/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=91

http://www.fwarailfan.net/community/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4062

http://www.fwarailfan.net/community/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4033

Bucklen was working on three potential connections on the east end: the Toledo & Western at Pioneer; the Toledo & Indiana at Bryan; and the Wabash at Montpelier.  Grading was nearly completed between Columbia and Pioneer, but much less so between Columbia and the other cities.  The legs of the turn-around Y-track at Columbia, OH, were toward Pioneer and either Montpelier or Bryan. 

Craig Berndt