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PC: Howard--Millwood sand pit history

The story at the end of this e-mail is edited from a discussion my father
had last nite.....

This goes back to my earlier question regarding this line.  When I worked as
a contract engineering consultant for ODOT in 1995 we dug up part of the
branch from Howard to the pit along the river on one of my four bridge
rebuilding projects.  By the conditon of the ROW, I would have guessed it
had been abandoned prior to the 1983 that my father was told.  There are
streches of the Nashville-Lebanon branch of the NC&StL here in
Davidson/Wilson County Tennessee that are in much better shape and that
track was pulled in the  early 1930's!

The area in question is in Knox County Ohio, near the
Towns of Gambier, Danville, and Mt. Vernon.  If you are ever in the area,
check it out.  The stone arch over the ROW in Howard is impressive (the line
to Danville, not the branch to the sand pit, is a bike trail now).  Be sure
to stop in the Howard Inn for a $2.50 hamburger w/ fries and quarter pool
games (say hi to Ray) and look at and comment on the EXCELLENT highway
bridges in the area :-).


>Then the talk turned to the PRR Columbus-Orrville line (Mt Vernon, Howard,
>Danville etc).  It was a major PRR line with heavy rail and serious traffic
>until a washout near Apple Creek way north of the area we know. That was in
>1966.  It involved wiped out bridges etc.  Then came PC and they said
>it, we will use the NYC to get to NE Ohio from Columbus.  So in a few years
>the track was pulled down to Howard.  The line ran north to Howard to reach
>a spur known as the Howard Industrial track.  It ran East to Millwood.  The
>reason, a big sand pit.  It supplied sand to a PPG glass plant in Mt
>The PPG plant quit in the 1970's but the line stayed in until 1983.  The
>reason?  it was excellent locomotive sand and was used all over
>PRR/PC/Conrail until 1983.  Walt said it was strange to see the sharp
>turnout in Howard with the straight line pulled beyond the turnout but the
>curved route to Millwood still in.

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