1882 Birdseye map of Niles with rail lines marked
in color. See index for railroad names.
Railroads in Niles, Ohio
First railroad in 1856; Three railroads in 1874.
Early Rail Lines were Base of Present Niles Railroads.
(from Centennial Club History)
Modern transportation first reached Niles with the coming of the
railroad in the ‘fifties. When James Ward Sr. arrived
in Niles in 1841, the villagers were anticipating the prosperity
that would come from the opening of the canal. Ten years later
the end of the canal was at hand and by 1874, Niles was served
by three railroads.
First to be completed, in 1856, was the Cleveland
and Mahoning Railroad. Successively it was leased to the Atlantic
and Great Western Railway, and the New York, Pittsburgh and Ohio
Railroad Company. It is the Erie Railroad of today.
map shows the route of the C & M Railroad (Erie leased) in
the area bounded by North Main Street and East Federal and Heaton
Avenue (West FederalStreet) featuring the General Electric Glass
Works Company and the Bostwick Steel Lath Company.
The route of the PC &
T Railroad (B & O) with the freight yard off Robbins Avenue
is also featured on this map.
The 1918 map shows the many railroad lines in
the vicinity of the Erie Railroad station.
Niles-Alliance railroad covered bridge over the
Mahoning River. It was built in the late 1880's and later became
part of the Pennsylvania RR. PO1.1911
a railroad through Niles was projected from Ashtabula to New Lisbon.
The portion north of Niles was not at the time completed, but
the branch from Niles to New Lisbon was completed in 1869 and
in 1872 consolidated with the Cleveland and Mahoning into the
Atlantic and Great Western Railway. It is now the Niles-Lisbon
branch of the Erie Railroad.
South Main Street bridge - sometime after Pennsylvania
Railroad station was built in 1901. The bridge was built in 1882
by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio. It replaced an
earlier span that was washed away by high waters. This bridge
was replaced by the viaduct in 1933. PO1.67
South Main Street bridge - sometime
after Pennsylvania Railroad stationwas built in 1901. The bridge
was built in 1882 by the Morse Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio.
It replaced an earlier span that was washed away by high waters.
This bridge was replaced by the viaduct in 1933.
the Ashtabula, Youngstown and Pittsburgh Railroad Company contracted
for the construction of a line between Ashtabula Harbor and Youngstown.
This was accomplished by buying and completing
the unfinished portion of the Ashtabula and New Lisbon line north
of Niles, and by construction from Niles to Girard where the company
had a connection to Youngstown.
The line was later leased to Pennsylvania Railroad
Co. and with the Alliance branch built in the late ‘eighties,
comprises the Pennsylvania railroad line through Niles at the
From South Main Street looking west. Note water
works in the background on left. Passenger train is on the Pennsylvania
RR coming into Niles. PO1.1807
In 1874 the Painesville
and Youngstown Railroad was completed to Niles, and later extended
to Youngstown. This was a narrow gauge line and proved unprofitable
until rebuilt to standard gauge.
The Pittsburgh and Western Railroad Company purchased
the right of way north of Niles, replaced the narrow gauge with
a standard gauge line and constructed a track to Youngstown. Later
this property came into the possession of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad which operates it today.
The narrow gauge continued to operate until the
‘nineties between Niles and Youngstown, the small locomotives
and cars following the track which crossed the river over a former
bridge near the present Lisbon-Niles railroad bridge and then
followed the river valley to Youngstown.
At first, conditions of travel were rather primitive.
Coaches on the first crowded trains were reserved for women, with
the men riding on plank seats in roofless cars. This condition,
however, must have passed quickly and in 1869 railway travel was
somewhat similar to that today.
The B&O railroad was located
on the north side of Church Street. It ran through Niles as
early as 1874. It later expanded taking in the Ashtabula &
Pittsburgh line and the Painesville & Youngstown line.
Pennsylvania RR yards and freight station with
Mahoning River on the right and Niles Firebrick plant in left
eastward the old iron bridge and RR crossing over the Mahoning
River near Water Street. PO1.68A
1918 map shows location of the B&O
1918 map shows location of PRR yard.
|As early as 1888, Niles was one of
the most favorably situated cities of northeast Ohio for RR service.
A view of the Pennsylvania RR freight
station, which was located on South Main Street near the river.
Pennsylvania train at the station
around 1900-02. The old Ward Mill that was located on that site
was torn down to make way for the new Pennsylvania station.PO1.1456
Pennsylvania passenger station, ca 1968.
The Erie Depot was located on Mahoning
Avenue and was the most luxurious in Niles.
It was constructed of brick and
was a fine example of 19th century Western Stick architecture.
Erie RR Station, ca 1968.
B&O railroad freight station,
ca 1968. S11.175
Pennsylvania Freight Station, ca 1968.
A wreck on the Lisbon branch of the Erie RR,
near McKee's Lane in Niles. PO2.609
Unable to determine whether the wreck was on
the Painesville and Youngstown RR and the PA & Western RR
as they both ran through Niles. PO1.1455