CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH "DUMMY" RAILROAD

CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH "DUMMY" RAILROAD

The CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH "DUMMY" RAILROAD CO., the first line to provide city transit by a source other than a horse, used steam engines in its "dummy" cars. The railroad was founded by JEPTHA H. WADE, AMASA STONE, STILLMAN WITT, and Hiram Garretson, with initial capital of $68,000. Also known as the Newburgh "Dummy" Railroad, the line began operation on 20 Oct. 1868, carrying workers to the industrial Newburgh area and transporting guests to the CATARACT HOUSE, a resort hotel near Broadway and Miles Ave. Its route began at Willson Ave. (E. 55th St.) and Kinsman Rd., meeting horsecar lines that traveled to downtown Cleveland from that point. It ran 3.33 miles, following Kinsman, crossing KINGSBURY RUN on a trestle, south on E. 65th St., east on Bessemer Ave, south on E. 75th St., then to Broadway, which it followed to its eastern terminus at Harvard Ave. Fare was $ 0.10.

The line's steam engine was concealed in a streetcar-type body, and a trailing car made up the train; 2 trains operated initially. Heeding demands to end the E. 55th transfer to downtown, the line began running dummy trains to PUBLIC SQUARE in November 1871. The chugging steam engines frightened horses, however, and the cars were banned from the downtown area. In Nov. 1872, an epidemic struck the Cleveland horse population, crippling the horse railway industry (see "EPIZOOTIC"). The Newburgh line's steam trains were used temporarily by the EAST CLEVELAND RAILWAY CO. until the epidemic passed. Costly accidents and competition from the BROADWAY & NEWBURGH ST. RAILWAY CO. which followed much the same route led to the line's receivership, and the Cleveland & Newburgh Dummy line ceased operation in 1877.


Christiansen, Harry. Trolley Trails through Greater Cleveland and Northern Ohio (1975).