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Louisville, Cincinnati & Dayton Railroad

Louisville, Cincinnati & Dayton Railroad never reached any of the cities in its name. Its tracks ran between Middletown and Hamilton. Stations or stops on a 1887 timetable, from south to north, were Hamilton, Fairgrounds, Sheleys, Woodsdale, Rockdale, LeSourdsville, Excello, Amanda and Middletown, a total of 13.9 miles. The LC&D -- built parallel to the Miami-Erie Canal between Hamilton and Middletown -- also was known as the "Long, Crooked & Dirty," the "Grape Vine" and the "Pumpkin Vine" for its curving route, and later the "Thermos Bottle Line." Much mystery surrounds the start of the LC&D and the people and companies involved. There were several incorporations in 1886 and 1887 related to the railroad, including the Middletown & State Line Railway, the Middletown & Southwestern and the Cincinnati & Southern Ohio River Railway. The proposed 147.5-mile route was from Middletown south to Hamilton, then southwest through the Indiana cities of Aurora and Madison to Jeffersonville, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. Construction started between Hamilton and Middletown in the summer of 1886 and the first train operated April 1, 1887. Two days before the first run, March 30, 1887, the Cincinnati & Dayton Railway Co. incorporated. Feb. 3, 1888, the LC&D was sold to the Cincinnati & Dayton. July 12, 1895, the Hamilton-Middletown line became part of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad. The former LC&D continued to operate after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad acquired the CH&D. Oct. 1, 1927, the B&O and the Hamilton Coke & Iron Co. agreed to operate hot metal trains from blast furnaces in New Miami to open hearth furnaces at the American Rolling Mill Co. (later Armco and AK Steel) plant in Middletown. Track laying between New Miami and Woodsdale Jct. started Oct. 10, 1928. At Woodsdale Jct. the new line connected to the former LC&D and used that right-of-way into Middletown. The hot line opened June 25, 1928. Although owned by the B&O, the 11.3-mile line was commonly known as the Armco Hot Line. It carried specially built "thermos bottle cars" that contained white-hot molten iron until 1991. Dec. 14, 1934, the B&O-owned Toledo & Cincinnati Railroad asked government permission to abandon the LC&D tracks between a point west of the Butler County Fairgrounds and Woodsdale Jct. Between 1940 and 1975, tracks were removed between Hamilton and Woodsdale Jct. The LC&D's southern terminus was its connection to the Pennsylvania Railroad south of High Street at 10th Street. (See Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad.)

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