Baltimore and Ohio Railroad



As a college student in 1969, I worked the summer months as an extra board trainman on the Akron Division at Willard, OH. Akron Division B&O employees worked coal trains to Holloway, OH (coal empties eastbound, loads westbound). Correction April 2020: The Uhrichsville (not Warwick as stated previously) to Holloway (and eastward) portion of the B&O (part of the former Cleveland, Lorraine & Wheeling) has been abandoned as the mines are largely closed now. (Thank you for the correction from the B & O IO groups - when I viewed the line at Holloway in 2001, I incorrectly assumed everything up to the main line at Warwick was no longer active).

There was also a merchandise train to Cleveland from Willard - I remember that it handled a large number of automobile parts. The "hot" merchandise trains on the B&O main line were staffed by B&O crews from Newcastle, PA. We watched those trains fly by us while parked on some side track, usually. After some serious flooding of the B&O right of way that summer, there were numerous work trains to dump ballast and repair materials where the right of way had been extensively damaged. At the time, this was just a summer job, and I had no idea it would lead to a 48 year railroad career with B&O, DRGW and Amtrak. From 1970 to 1973, I was employed part time as a trainman for the B&O at Indianapolis, IN. We worked west to Decatur and Springfield, IL and east to Cincinnati. Overall, this division was much quieter than the main line at Willard, except for the operations at the east end around the Cincinnati terminal. 

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Contents:

Passenger Information and Official Guide Excerpts.

In this section, I have linked a couple of B&O passenger schedules that I acquired over the years from public displays, yard offices, or abandoned depots along some obscure branch line, etc.  More illustrative of the growth of the B&O is the group of Official Guide excerpts. At the beginning of the official guide excerpts there is a list of B&O predecessor railroads from the 1910 Guide - many are very small and little known. However, as I observed official guide entries for lines that became major portions of the B&O in later years such as:  Cleveland, Loraine & Wheeling; Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton; Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh; Ohio & Mississippi, etc. - I tried to include these lines after the B&O pages for that particular year. I am sure I did not include all such subsidiaries, but the overall impression from the various years shows the growth of the B&O to its modern era size as of the last entry in 1947.

July 2019 addition:  The UMWA Special Train link below is for a special train for District 12 of the United Mine Workers of America discovered in family files from my grandfather, William H Withey. Both William and my great grandfather, John Zimmerman, were staff employees of the United Mine Workers of America. This special train in 1936 originated for UMWA District 12 in Springfield, Illinois with stops shown for Decatur and Chrisman, Illinois. No further stations are shown for the route beyond Illinois, but I imagine the train stayed on the Baltimore and Ohio route through Indianapolis to Cincinnati, then on to Washington, DC where the national convention was to be held. Thirty four years later, in 1970, I worked these lines as a trainman for the B & O – a bit of a coincidence. 

January 2024 addition:  A sincere thank you is extended to Alex Angell from the Bay Area in California who kindly provided a copy of a B&O menu from 1952. The prices are certainly indicative of 70 plus years ago. It is in the passenger section below. 

For additional information about the B&O, visit the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society at: The company store has many items for sale including the archives of the excellent quarterly newsletter from the society. If the B&O is of special interest to you, I encourage you to join the society.

Employee Division Timetables

In this section are links to various historic B&O employee timetables from the late 1930s and early 1940s. Many of these were purchased in the 1970s from Owen Davies Bookseller in Chicago. Others were copies acquired from friends, and the copy quality is not always good. The documents from the late 1960s and 1970 are from the divisions where I worked as a B&O trainman. Generally, I have restricted postings on this site to dates prior to and including 1970, with just a few exceptions for public passenger information and other public documents. I have made a slight exception here with the final timetable in this section:  the 1974 CO/BO Western Division timetable which is the last document from the B&O in my files. These links are in (mostly) alphabetical order by the division or subdivision of the B&O, with the timetable number and date shown in the posted links.

Rule Books, Safety Rules, Freight Schedules and Miscellaneous Items

The Rule books below were in effect when I was a B&O employee from 1969 - 1973. The freight schedules and Car Weight maps were possibly from Owen Davies bookstore in Chicago. The Switching Instructions were probably from my employment years, but the safe practices document is quite dated, however it may still have been distributed in 1969, I can not recall. The Locomotive Roster is a reprint from two issues of the Locomotive Newsletter "Extra 2200 South" from 1972. I searched for any current link from this organization, and it apparently has ceased operations. While this information from 1972 is many years out of date, I still found it interesting when looking at old photos or notes from trips from my B&O days. Perhaps a few others will find the pages helpful also - the photos did not reproduce very well on the copy I have, so they are not very clear. A January 2021 addition is a C&O - B&O calendar from 1970 that includes some nice photos of operations and scenes from both railroads. August 2023 added a link to Mundy's 1930 earnings report on the B&O.

Several trips on the B & O in 1969 and 1970

Links below are to copies of train orders and work messages from two trips for each of the years 1969 and 1970. Some of the material is a bit hard to read, in scanning these documents I tried to enhance the images where I could. A bit of background for operations at Willlard, OH in 1969: Most movements ran "Extra" although some trains had train numbers. In the case of train 294 below, it was half of a train pair 294/297 that worked between Willard and Cleveland as a continuous duty turn. The federal hours of service law for train crews still allowed sixteen hours of duty in 1969. If I recall correctly, the law changed to fourteen hours for two years, 1970-1971, and then the current (2019) twelve hours in 1972. At the time of this trip (7-13-1969), I believe either a derailment or floods from recent storms had done a great deal of damage to the tracks, necessitating some of the extensive orders included with that train's file. The second 1969 trip, Extra 3826 West on 7-31-1969, was a coal load from Holloway to Willard, OH. Similar restrictions were still in effect by that date, also. For those interested in train order operations, Order number 67 received at Holloway directed Extra 3826 West to wait at Dover for five Extras East, with engine numbers listed. Such multiple movement meet or "after arrival" orders were not uncommon, although five is a rather large number to have received for one location, from my recollection these fifty years later. Copies of the subdivision pages for the Akron Division are included at the end of each of these files.

The 1970 trips were train orders and messages for trains 90 and 91 which were "Second Class" trains on the Decatur Subdivision operating between Indianapolis, IN and Springfield, IL. The majority of this route is no longer active and it is fairly difficult to find the former right of way in some locations. These trains operated by timetable authority as second class trains, but certain "wait" or "right over" orders can be found for these trips. Included in the paperwork are orders from the Norfolk and Western Railroad because trackage rights were used by the B & O between Decatur, IL and Boody switch to access the western portion of the route to Springfield. A copy of the subdivision pages for these trains is included at the end of the link for train 91. Looking back now, I wish I had saved the paperwork from a few more trips to have a more complete picture of these operations all these years later - but at the time it was just a summer job, and I had no idea how much the various operations would change so quickly in the next few decades.

Eight days at Willard, OH in 1969

The links below contain lineups of inbound trains at several times during each day at Willard. Generally, trains shown on the Chicago Division are coming east into Willard. Trains on the Akron Division are moving west toward Willard. Occasional trains shown on the Newark Division are coming north and generally were terminating at Willard. The lineups were usually about half of a full sheet of paper, with carbon copies or mimeographed paper used to make the copies  - thus some are very dim and have faded over the last fifty years (I tried to darken them when I could as I scanned them). Usually the power lineup is shown, and many of the trains are named, such as Chicago Jet, Baltimore Jet, New York Jet - for the hot shot piggyback trains. The passenger trains (pre-Amtrak) 5, 6, 7, 10 are shown with just the train number, engines and cars. For reference, a link is contained for those schedules from the Akron-Chicago 1969 Division timetable. The Detroit Steel train was a heavy working drag freight from Pittsburgh to Detroit - the main line crews hated to catch that dog. The Pittsburgher was the same equipment going back to the mills, also a dog. Coal loads from Holloway (which our pool worked at Willard) are usually named by their destination or the utility customer if it was a unit train to a particular power plant. Coal loads going from Holloway to Lorraine are not shown, since these were Akron lineups. With few exceptions, the coal loads were powered just to stay out of the "red" or load limit for the units (10-12 MPH or so). The green Ohio countryside was nice to view, but it got a little monotonous at those speeds. We had one numbered train from Holloway which was a merchandise work horse, train 195 (train 196 from Willard). Later in my career at Grand Junction, CO, the DRGW used train number 195 for a fairly hot Denver - Salt Lake City piggyback and container train. The DRGW covered the 570 miles from Denver to Salt Lake City in just slightly more time than we usually worked the 135 miles from Holloway to Willard. The difference in operating philosophies was significant, one could observe. A glance at these lineups shows a reasonably busy main line in a different era when heavy box car, flat car, and gondola type traffic dominated the merchandise trains, and piggyback traffic was just starting to grow and assume greater importance to the industry.

My time with the B & O ended in early 1973, and I went to work for the Denver Rio Grande Western in the sales office in Chicago in April that year. This card was from Hays Watkins to employees for the holiday season in 1972.