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PC: Re: PC in Knox County Ohio

Delighted to help, Garrett!

I was a student at Kenyon College in Gambier from 1972-76 (except the
'74-'75 school year that I spent in France) and can tell you a bit about
that line.

The line through Mount Vernon and Gambier is indeed a former Pennsylvania
Railroad line.  At one point the line went from Columbus to Mount Vernon,
Wooster, Orrville (connecting with the PRR main line), Akron, and
terminating in Hudson (on the PRR Pittsburgh-Cleveland line).  By the time I
observed the line, it had been broken (storm damage, I believe) somewhere to
the north of Gambier -- it certainly did not go as far as Akron and I don't
believe as far as Orrville either.  There were two or three daily
round-trips on the line (unsure if this was out of Mount Vernon or Columbus,
but I believe Columbus) with an SW and anywhere from 3-10 revenue cars plus
caboose; fewer if any on weekends.  The SW occasionally tied up in Mount
Vernon and occasionally didn't;  the PC and later CR did indeed interchange
with the B&O in Mount Vernon, but I can't imagine there was much interchange
traffic.  The trains were mostly box cars & hoppers with an occasional tank
car, but I don't know the contents or the customers.  There was a farmer's
co-op with a spur in Gambier near the spur where the passenger car your
father remembers was located.

That passenger car was not ex-PRR, but was an ex-Santa Fe bedroom-lounge car
and it was owned by Professor Horvath, a political science professor at
Kenyon.  He was, as you might expect, a railfan!  The car was fully
operational and Professor Horvath took it out every now and then, but he
also had it set up on the spur so that it had power and air
conditioning/heat (I can't recall about water/sewage, but I think he had
it.) so that he could use the car as a lounge, meeting area etc. while it
was on the spur.

I went back to Kenyon for a look-round about six years ago and was shocked
to see the railroad line gone.  I don't know when it was pulled up, but
Conrail certainly was operating it through about 1980 which was my last trip
back before the most recent one.  The Santa Fe car --and Professor Horvath--
were also gone; I have no idea where in either case.

Phil Kuhl
Arlington, Virginia
PJKuhl -AT- erols.com

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