B&O Ohio River Waybills


Here is a summary of a collection of waybills from 1981.  It gives great insight into the traffic moving on the B&O Ohio River Railroad at the time.  Waybill date and car number of each shipment is given along with a waybill scan for each group of cars.

Dan Robie’s WVNC Rails site has an excellent overview of B&O’s Ohio River Railroad.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber

Contrary to what might be expected, the Goodyear plant in Apple Grove, WV was used to produce polyester resin rather than rubber or tire related products.  This plant was built in 1959 and sold to Shell in 1992, eventually becoming M&G Polymers.  The plant closed in 2017 but was recently purchased to be reopened.

Most of the traffic was terephthalic acid, the primary raw ingredient of polyester.  The majority of this came from Amoco’s Decatur, AL plant.  Amoco patented a process to create terephthalic acid and its Decatur plant was the first in the world to produce it.

Initially the terephtalic acid from Decatur was handled by Southern to Cincinnati and the B&O:

12-29-1980: AMCX 6322
12-31-1980: ACFX 53622
01-05-1981: AMCX 6272
01-16-1981: AMCX 5362
01-16-1981: AMCX 5422
02-11-1981: AMCX 6312
02-13-1981: AMCX 5352
03-03-1981: AMCX 5512
03-17-1981: AMCX 6272
03-17-1981: ACFX 53642
04-27-1981: ACFX 53622
04-29-1981: AMCX 5622
05-20-1981: ACFX 53622
05-26-1981: AMCX 52032
05-26-1981: AMCX 5502
05-28-1981: AMCX 6202
07-14-1981: AMCX 5672

Later, the L&N started handling this business to the B&O at Cincinnati instead.  L&N’s rate was lower than the Southern rate, so this might be the motivation for the change:

11-05-1981: AMCX 5212
11-06-1981: AMCX 5692
11-10-1981: AMCX 5292
11-13-1981: ACFX 53622
11-25-1981: AMCX 5362
11-25-1981: AMCX 5242
12-03-1981: AMCX 5682
12-03-1981: AMCX 5492
12-11-1981: AMCX 5652

Goodyear also sourced some terephthalic acid from Hercofina, a joint venture between Hercules and American Petrofina in Wilmington, NC.  Seaboard Coast Line moved this traffic to the C&O at Richmond which carried it to B&O rails at Huntington:

01-22-1981: ACFX 59242
03-05-1981: ACFX 57992
03-25-1981: ACFX 59242
03-26-1981: ACFX 58002
05-09-1981: ACFX 59242
08-26-1981: ACFX 57992
09-10-1981: ACFX 59242 (here is a picture of the covered hopper)
09-29-1981: ACFX 58002
10-27-1981: ACFX 57992

There is also another collection of waybills for a commodity “Terpolic A”.  I suspect this is a mistake and the commodity was terephthalic acid.  These waybills are the first shipments the L&N had from Decatur and they moved in the same freight cars.  Perhaps there was a mistake in spelling or classification of the commodity when they began handling it which was corrected shortly thereafter:

07-27-1981: AMCX 5212
08-12-1981: AMCX 5362
08-13-1981: AMCX 5522
08-17-1981: AMCX 5652
09-01-1981: AMCX 6252
09-02-1981: AMCX 5212
09-08-1981: AMCX 6292
09-24-1981: AMCX 5282
09-24-1981: AMCX 5592

Two cars of dimethyl terephthalate also came from the Hercofina plant in Wilmington and moved via the same route, SCL to Richmond and C&O to Huntington:

03-23-1981: SCL 828082
11-04-1981: SCL 828132

Two cars of butylene glycol were shipped from GAF’s plant at Nadeau, TX just north of Texas City.  They were routed Southern Pacific through Shreveport to the Cotton Belt and interchanged to the B&O at East St. Louis.  One waybill shows the Alton & Southern handling the car at East St. Louis while the other does not:

05-07-1981: NATX 91002
10-23-1981: NATX 91002

Another car of butylene glycol came from BASF’s former Wyandotte Chemical plant in Geismar, LA.  The Illinois Central Gulf handled it to Louisville from where it used C&O rails to the B&O at Huntington:

04-02-1981: ACFX 15822

Goodyear was also billed for moving empty leased covered hoppers for loading to the plant.  These were cars that were stored until needed.  Most of these came from Huntington:

12-29-1980: ACFX 58792
12-29-1980: GACX 40922
03-17-1981: PLCX 43502
03-23-1981: TLCX 38552
03-23-1981: PLCX 43302
03-24-1981: TLCX 38562
04-02-1981: ACFX 58202
09-02-1981: PLCX 43502
09-02-1981: PLCX 43542
12-14-1981: GACX 4092

Four cars came from Columbus, OH and used the C&O to Huntington, including some of the same cars above:

02-03-1981: ACFX 58202
09-11-1981: TLCX 38562
09-11-1981: ACFX 58212
09-11-1981: ACFX 59392

Finally, two cars were stored at Akron Canton & Youngstown’s Brittain Yard in Akron.  These were given to the B&O at Akron:

04-27-1981: ACFX 56272
04-27-1981: ACFX 58212


Stauffer Chemical Company

The Stauffer Chemical Company at Gallipolis Ferry, WV was built in the 1970’s and manufactured phosphorous based chemicals.  This plant is now owned by ICL Industrial Products and continues to produce similar chemicals.   From Ramin Abhari:

Stauffer set up a phosphorus extraction plant in Tarpon Springs, FL, where phosphate rock was brought in from their various mines. Phosphorus was gasified in electric furnaces and recovered in its various crystal forms for reaction with chlorine to form the building-block molecules phosphorus trichloride and phosphorus oxychloride. These were shipped to Stauffer’s plant in Gallipolis Ferry, WV to make phosphate ester lubricants used in high performance jet engine applications. 

Other products produced at that plant included triphenyl phosphate (TPP) and tricresyl phosphate (TCP), made by esterification of phenol/cresol with phosphorus oxychloride.

TPP is a plasticizer and a flame retardant. For example, it was used to make cellulose acetate film reels flexible and fire-resistant.  TCP was used for some of the same applications, and also as a fuel and hydraulic fluid additive.    

Indeed, two cars of phosphorous did move from Tarpon Springs (the railroad location is named Victor after the previous owner of the plant at Tarpon Springs) to Stauffer.  The cars were routed SCL to Spartanburg, SC to move over the Clinchfield to the C&O at Elkhorn City and the B&O at Huntington:

01-27-1981: GATX 93712
10-28-1981: ACFX 84322

Four cars of phenol (or carbolic acid) moved from United States Steel’s Chemicals acetone and phenol plant in Haverhill, OH via the N&W to Kenova:

03-05-1981: GATX 94192
04-21-1981: GATX 14142
10-21-1981: GATX 14142 (the same car used six months earlier)
10-22-1981: USSX 192002

Four cars of cresol (or cresylic acid) from three different sources were received by Stauffer.  Two cars came from Sumitoma (sic?) Shoji America at Good Hope, LA.  I couldn’t locate this plant.  The Shell Refinery at Norco did produce cresol so perhaps that was the supplier.  The cars were delivered to the B&O at Louisville by the Illinois Central Gulf:

01-21-1981: UTLX 67912
03-09-1981: UTLX 67912 (the same car was used both trips)

Another car of cresol came from Merichem’s plant on the Houston Ship Channel.  It was handled by Missouri Pacific to East St. Louis:

02-03-1981: UTLX 70372

The last car of cresol paralleled the Ohio River on its trip from Kopper’s plant in Follansbee, WV.  It was handled by Conrail and given to the B&O at Wheeling:

06-16-1981: KPCX 3182

Three cars of epichlorohydrin were shipped from Shell’s Deer Park, TX plant via the Southern Pacific and Cotton Belt to Gateway Yard in East Saint Louis where they were turned over to the B&O.  Shell produces crude epichlorohydrin at its Narco, LA facility and ships it by barge to Deer Park for finishing.

01-09-1981: SCMX 3012
03-09-1981: SCMX 3002
04-19-1981: PSBX 1612

Moving on the same route were two cars of isobutylene from Exxon at Bayport, TX.  I am not sure which plant this is today; most of Exxon’s operations in the Houston area were located at Baytown, not Bayport.

05-29-1981: ECUX 575142
11-02-1981: ECUX 553002

Two cars of sodium hydroxide were shipped from St. Gabriel, LA.  Again I’m not sure which plant this is today.  The cars were handled by Illinois Central Gulf to Louisville and given to the B&O there:

05-05-1981: ACFX 89712
07-28-1981: GATX 27392

One car of ethylene oxide moved from Texaco’s plant in Port Neches, TX.  KCS handled the car to Shreveport and the Cotton Belt took it from there to the B&O at East St. Louis:

10-01-1981: ACFX 85052

One car of propylene oxide moved from the Oxirane plant in Channelview, TX (a joint venture of Arco and Halcon International, now a Lyondell plant) via Missouri Pacific to the B&O at East St. Louis:

01-31-1981: UTLX 89392

Another car of propylene oxide originated at Arco Chemical’s Pasadena, TX plant.  This car was handled by SP to Shreveport and the Cotton Belt to the B&O at East St. Louis:

10-22-1981: ACFX 85332

One car of fatty acid esters was moved from Union Camp’s Dover chemical plant.  Union Camp was primarily a paper products company but operated a few chemical plants.  The Dover plant was located on the B&O:

08-26-1981: ACFX 83822

Finally, one car of butyl alcohol came from Union Carbide’s plant in Charleston, WV.  Conrail gave this car to the B&O at Point Pleasant:

08-17-1981: GATX 86602

Foote Mineral Company

The Foote Mineral Company started in 1952 at Graham located between Letart and New Haven.  It manufactured ferroalloys such as ferrochrome and ferrosilicon and in 1981 was producing ferrosilicon and proprietary silicon products.  Production was reduced from operating at full capacity to operating at 25% capacity in December 1981 and the plant would shut down (although reopen with new owners) within a few years.  Thus the waybills represent the end of an era of peak production.  Inbound carloads include scrap used for its iron content and coal.

Scrap from Saginaw Steering in Saginaw, MI was handled by C&O to Toledo and by B&O the remainder of the way:

06-01-1981: CR 580602
07-09-1981: CO 35732
09-03-1981: BO 35802
09-16-1981: NW 268112

One car of scrap from GM’s Hydra-matic transmission plant at Willow Run, MI was handled to the B&O at Toledo by Conrail:

09-11-1981: CR 524522

One car of scrap came from Chevrolet Motor’s autoparts plant in Bay City, MI.  It moved on a C&O to B&O at Toledo route.

04-29-1981: PC 550092

Another car of scrap came from GM’s Delco Products Division plant in Dayton, OH, handled by Conrail to the B&O at Columbus:

02-26-1981: CR 554782

Scrap from the Ford transmission plant at Sharonville, OH moved on Conrail to the B&O at Columbus:

09-04-1981: CR 531652

Scrap iron from the Ford steering plant in Indianapolis was routed via Conrail to the B&O at Wheeling:

12-19-1980: CR 514752
04-09-1981: PC 552612
04-16-1981: CR 546262
06-16-1981: CR 550422

Scrap iron from Eaton Corporation (probably their axle division) moved from Cleveland on Conrail and was also interchanged to the B&O at Columbus:

02-26-1981: PC 529022

Three cars of crushed steel turnings from Eaton Axle’s Glasgow, KY plant were given to the B&O at Cincinnati by the L&N:

02-16-1981: LN 36892
04-08-1981: LN 36942
04-23-1981: LN 171122

Four cars of scrap iron from McKinley Iron Company at St. Louis moved on an all B&O route.

09-16-1981: ICG 245372
09-16-1981: MKT 16082
09-17-1981: MP 642652
10-01-1981: MKT 16312

Rockwell International of Newark, Ohio shipped five cars of crushed turnings and borings (scrap).  Rockwell manufactured truck axles.  B&O handled the entire move.

03-25-1981: CO 367552
04-03-1981: CO 32592
07-02-1981: BO 352332
07-09-1981: BO 354222
07-15-1981: GONX 350502

Tri City Scrap of Louisville, KY shipped 7 cars of scrap iron on L&N to Cincinnati where it was interchanged to the B&O.  Only six of the cars are listed on the waybills:

02-09-1981: LN 27283
02-09-1981: LN 27732
02-09-1981: LN 36183
02-09-1981: LN 48892
02-09-1981: LN 170775
02-18-1981: LN 28132

Denbo Scrap Materials of Pulaski, TN shipped two cars of scrap iron.  L&N weighed the cars at Nashville and interchanged them to the B&O at Cincinnati:

05-01-1981: GONX 330062
07-13-1981: LN 36052

One car of crushed turnings and borings moved from the Rockwell International axle plant in Kenton, OH was handled by Conrail to the B&O at Columbus:

08-14-1981: CR 554822

Four cars of turnings and borings from the Browning Emerson Manufacturing gearing plant in Maysville, KY were moved by C&O to Huntington:

01-30-1981: BO 356542
02-19-1981: BO 356962
04-16-1981: BO 356872
11-09-1981: BO 357152

Another gearing plant, Fairfield Manufacturing of Lafayette, IN, contributed six more cars of crushed turnings.  N&W delivered these to the B&O at Kenova.

04-27-1981: NW 88582
07-07-1981: NW 88962
07-20-1981: NW 98162
07-23-1981: NW 312822
07-24-1981: NW 90472
11-30-1981: NW 88972

Bituminous metallurgical coal moved on the N&W from Bishop Coal Company’s Pocahontas Fuel Colliery 33 in Bishop, VA to the B&O at Kenova.  On the way it was weighed at Prichard, WV.  A great image of the mine, though from an earlier era, can be found here.  14 cars total moved on this route:

02-16-1981: NW 41372
02-16-1981: NW 101462
02-16-1981: NW 120512
02-23-1981: NW 41952
02-27-1981: NW 74152
02-27-1981: NW 120732
03-03-1981: NW 31442
03-03-1981: NW 35362
03-03-1981: NW 105342
06-26-1981: NW 75642
06-30-1981: NW 26322
06-30-1981: NW 40802
07-03-1981: NW 40172
07-08-1981: NW 101002

More metallurgical coal came from the Cannelton Coal mine at Superior, WV near Welch.  This was also weighed at Prichard and handled by the N&W to Kenova.  Eight cars are shown:

01-23-1981: NW 10962
02-23-1981: NW 139612
02-25-1981: NW 8942
02-25-1981: NW 120072
02-26-1981: NW 11702
02-27-1981: NW 4572
03-05-1981: NW 93612
03-07-1981: NW 4022

Thirteen cars of metallurgical coal came from A T Massey’s Alpine mine in Marianna, WV.  These were also moved by the N&W, weighed at Prichard, and interchanged to the B&O at Kenova.

01-15-1981: NW 116152
02-10-1981: NW 68402
02-27-1981: NW 168212
03-24-1981: NW 37342
07-02-1981: NW 30162
07-20-1981: NW 93932
07-24-1981: NW 139142
08-17-1981: NW 68422
08-27-1981: NW 118872
09-05-1981: NW 120932
09-05-1981: NW 133142
09-14-1981: NW 132052
09-16-1981: NW 139442

Another car of coal came from A T Massey’s Coronet Jewell #2 mine on the Dismal Creek branch.  It too was weighed at Prichard and given to the B&O at Kenova:

06-29-1981: NW 94432

The last car from A T Massey is a mystery.  The waybill says it originated at Marianna but the shipment has a C&O waybill and was shipped in a Chessie System hopper.  Wherever it originated, it was weighed and interchanged to the B&O at Huntington:

06-15-1981: BO 186832

Thirty two cars of coal from the Consolidation Coal Company owned Pocahontas Fuel mine at Itmann, WV were handled by the N&W, weighed at Prichard, and given to the B&O at Kenova:

01-13-1981: NW 13242
01-13-1981: NW 93712
01-20-1981: NW 133462
01-29-1981: NW 94622
02-03-1981: NW 75392
02-11-1981: NW 66752
02-12-1981: NW 93168
02-18-1981: NW 66432
02-25-1981: NW 7812
02-27-1981: NW 138662
02-27-1981: NW 139532
03-05-1981: NW 27822
03-16-1981: NW 6532
03-25-1981: NW 94792
03-26-1981: NW 119212
06-22-1981: NW 101702
07-06-1981: NW 142332
07-08-1981: NW 6332
07-15-1981: NW 34772
08-11-1981: NW 26732
08-12-1981: NW 26322
09-21-1981: NW 75262
10-15-1981: NW 102362
10-18-1981: NW 133202
10-21-1981: NW 5832
10-27-1981: NW 34692
10-27-1981: NW 40532
11-06-1981: NW 68822
11-06-1981: NW 84072
11-10-1981: NW 68112
11-10-1981: NW 92342
11-18-1981: NW 93892

Three cars of gravel were shipped from the WR Bonsal Tailings Reservoir at Gravelton,, NC near Hamlet.  The route was SCL to Petersburg and from there the N&W to the B&O at Kenova.  The three cars moved on the same waybill and unfortunately only one car number is listed:

09-28-1981: SCL 165002

Thirty two more cars of gravel came from BV Hedrick Gravel and Sand also located at Gravelton, NC.  However, unlike the cars above, these cars were turned over by SCL to the Clinchfield at Bostic.  From there the Clinchfield delivered the cars to the C&O at Elkhorn City who handled them to Huntington.  Multiple cars were handled for each waybill so most car numbers are unavailable:

05-19-1981: ACL 84122
05-19-1981: SCL 162072
05-21-1981: SCL 160772
05-21-1981: SCL 160902

A car of Soderberg paste was shipped from Midwest Carbide of Keokuk, IA.  This paste was used inside the electrodes of the furnace.  This car was handled by BN to East Saint Louis and interchanged with B&O there.

09-09-1981: CBQ 24883

One car of ferrochrome on pallets was shipped from Muskegon, MI.  Unfortunately the shipper is not identified as it is listed as Foote Mineral Company.  Possibly this came from a scrap metal recycler in Muskegon from the recycling of stainless steel, but this is just a guess.  The boxcar was handled by GTW to Lansing and C&O to Huntington.

01-22-1981: BO 470242



Pantasote was a polyvinyl chloride resin plant that opened in 1965 and closed in 1986.  It was located at York, WV just north of Point Pleasant on former West Virginia Ordnance Works property.  Vinyl chloride is a raw ingredient in the process and all of the inbound carloads were this commodity from PPG at Westlake, LA in the Lake Charles area.

Seven of the carloads were routed via KCS from Westlake to Texarkana, the MP to East St. Louis, and the B&O to York:

12-29-1980: UTLX 92352
05-05-1981: UTLX 97092
05-21-1981: UTLX 92372
06-18-1981: UTLX 95002
08-07-1981: UTLX 97092
09-03-1981: UTLX 96292
09-11-1981: UTLX 92352

One carload was routed SP from Westlake to Shreveport and the SSW to interchange with the B&O in East St. Louis:

10-05-1981: UTLX 90482

Southern States Cooperative

Southern States Cooperative in Point Pleasant was a larger customer in 1949 to 1950, receiving 52 and 62 carloads in those years respectively.  Only two waybills are present in the collection.

The first was a covered hopper of potash shipped by CF Industries from Norco, Saskatchewan.  From what I can tell, CF Industries probably marketed the potash but the mine itself might have been the IMC Colonsay mine.  The car was routed via CN to Fort Frances, DWP to Duluth, and CNW to interchange with the B&O at Chicago.

12-16-1980: CNIS 368612

The second carload was a load of trisodium phosphate again shipped by CF Industries from Plant City, FL.  This car was handled by the SCL to Richmond and then the C&O to Huntington where it was interchanged with the B&O.

01-28-1981: WAR 15112

…and the Caboose

Bringing up the rear is a caboose deadhead destined for Point Pleasant.  Conrail handled it across the river from the C&O at Kanauga, OH to the B&O at Point Pleasant, WV.

10-30-1980: CO 3042