Our Cincinnati Northern Railroad Story
When our club first formed in the 1960s, members were seeking a name for their proposed model railroad. Cincinnati Northern was adopted because it was a defunct railroad that was “local.” The two earliest layouts included modest attempts to capture a Cincinnati Northern flavor through the use of town names, but layout plans were more about trying to fit an operating layout into the available space than about modeling the Cincinnati Northern as it actually existed. The area being modeled is flat, western Ohio territory, and the prototype Cincinnati Northern was absorbed into the Big Four and then New York Central, but we decided to keep the original name and make it an independent railroad in the time frame of the early 1950s.
Our modified Cincinnati Northern history developed over a number of years as we learned more about the actual history and began representing the railroad in a more prototypical fashion. As we gained a better feeling for how the New York Central had operated the line during the 1950s, and made field trips to explore what had once been the Cincinnati Northern right-of-way and towns along the line, it became possible to imagine scenarios of what could have happened if the Cincinnati Northern had remained independent. For example, the Cincinnati Northern ran north-south through a mostly agricultural region, but it interchanged with east-west railroads serving major cities of strong industrial importance. Under New York Central ownership, the Cincinnati Northern route was used more to service the local industries and agriculture than as a bridge route between major industrial areas. But, by making the Cincinnati Northern independent of the New York Central, we can represent a little bit of competition as a bridge line between Cincinnati & Jackson, and from there to Detroit, Chicago, and other centers in Northwest Ohio, and all of Michigan.
Visiting Our Club
The Cincinnati Northern Model Railroad Club meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Ross School District Administrative Building (the old Ross High School), located at 3371 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45013. Coming from the south, take I-275 to the US 27 North exit. Follow US 27 north for about 5 miles. As soon as you cross the Great Miami River, prepare to exit right onto State Route 128. Follow SR 128 north for about 1/2 mile, past the new Ross High School and the Ross Middle School. The 3-story building will be on your left. Normally, we hold operating sessions on the first Tuesday of the month, and visitors are welcome on the third Tuesday.