From: TVondruska 
Subject: Re: Big Four line thru Mattoon, IL
To: Multiple recipients of list RAILROAD 

Discussion of the Panhandle's proper name get's even more confusing if you
go back a little further. From 1869 to 1890 (I think, I had to return the
Cenntenial History to the Libarary) it was the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati &
St. Louis. Railway Co. or Railroad Co. depended on the latest legal whim.
Chicago was added to the name when the bankrupt and decrepit  Columbus,
Central Indiana & Chicago was merged with the Panhandle which previously
had leased the CCI&C.
I'm glad that I read the history. It took me years to find someone in
Xenia, Ohio, who could tell me why the Panhandle was called the Panhandle.
In case anyone is interested: For the uninitiated, this monniker was
formally the trade name, "The Panhandle Route," signifying the PC&StL's
route west from Pittsburgh across the West Virginia Panhandle to the PRR's
bridge across the Ohio between Weirton, W.Va., and Steubenville, Ohio.
The Panhandle mainline from Stuebenville to Newark, Ohio, is still being
used by shortline railroads, possibly the Ohio Central. Interstate 670 has
replaced the massive Panhandle yard and shops in downtown Columbus but the
line still runs east to Newark, (joint trackage with B&O to Newark).
Conrail abandoned the line west to Clement Tower on the eastern edge of
Dayton in 1986 and the last through freight ran on Jan. 10, 1987. The
right of way has been preserved nearly the entire way from Columbus to
Clement for use as a rails to trail conversation and utility corridor.
Construction of the bike path from Dayton to Xenia using the Panhandle's
r-o-w along U.S. 35 is to begin soon.
Conrail uses the mainline from Clement to the old union terminal trackage
in downtown Dayton as part of an all PRR spur serving the Delco, er,
Delphi plants in Kettering, Ohio along the old Dayton, Lebanon &
Cincinnati, built as a narrow guage in the 1880s, upgraded to standard in
the late 1880s and purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co, proper, in
1913. The hill just west of Clement descending down into the Great Miami
River flood plain was one reason the line was dropped. It was steepest
grade on Amtrak's Washington-St. Louis National Limited route.
Conrail abandoned the Panhandle from Dayton west to St. Paris (where it
met the CCI&C) soon after Amtrak phased out the National Limited in 1979.