The sun was slowly going down on a summer evening as we drove the #1 Corolla Rager eastbound on Riverside Dr. Jeffrey and I already had a close encounter with a snake earlier that day whilst exploring in Lockland and we weren't having much luck finding anything else that evening. As I drove my Toyota affectionately named after a song by cKy, we noticed an old road that seemingly lead up into a dark jungle of brush. "Shit, let's check it out." We pulled over, turned around and parked on what was once Torrence Rd. The decaying asphalt path with exposed historic cobblestones seemed to lead nowhere...only one way to find out.
Turns out, the now unused Torrence Rd. used to connect Riverside Dr. up to Columbia Parkway, or to some other road leading up to the parkway, I wasn't able to find a specific history on the road itself. What I did find though, thanks to my buddy Seicer at Abandoned, was that there used to be a passenger rail station here, a stop on the Little Miami Railroad (LMRR). The LMRR was mostly owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad company who constructed a station at Torrence Rd. in 1907.
Little remained of the uniquely constructed hillside station which closed in 1933. Overgrown by brush and patched up by bricks, the stone station bordered Torrence Rd. as Jeffrey and I made our way up.
Torrence Rd. lead to a barricade and a small path further into the woods which was graced by someone's discarded love seat and other forgotten trash. Instead of following this path, we climbed up the hill next to the station, wary of snakes. The earlier encounter with the serpent in Lockland had us feeling very uneasy about climbing into dense brush.
Atop the hill was a clearing with two parallel railroad tracks. One track was rusted, but clear of obstructions, the other was overgrown and had clearly not seen service for some time.
Bordering the tracks was a large concrete wall that had once been the other side of the Torrence Rd. station. Embedded in the wall was some sort of engraving or sculpture.
A closer look at the ruin revealed the word "Cincinnati" etched into it's brick base.
While the rest of the sculpture had deteriorated too badly to see what it had once been.
Thinking maybe we had been the first to discover the old artwork, Jeffrey and I got pretty excited. A later return to the internet though, would find we weren't the first to come here. Dan over at Queen City Survey had been here back in February and had some great historical information on his site, which is where I found the historical photos like this one:
Continuing our look around the area, we stumbled upon a manhole and realized the grass we were standing on had actually grown up through the asphalt beneath it.
As we kept climbing the hill, more remnants of the forgotten road by the forgotten rail station could be found amongst a dense jungle of overgrowth wedged between two busy thoroughfares, Columbia Parkway and Riverside Dr.
A random branch sticking wildly up out of the ground served as a warning to any passersby that they ought to be careful of where they walk or they just might have fallen into another manhole, this one with no cover.
The forgotten remnants of Torrence Rd. eventually lead to a barricade alongside the busy Columbia Parkway where Jeffrey and I stood waving at motorists busy with their evening commute who looked confused at the two guys with cameras standing alongside the road.
Today, one of the two parallel tracks that had served the Little Miami Railroad is in light use via the Cincinnati Dinner Train. With the announcement that the Cincinnati stop of Amtrak's 3C Corridor connecting Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland will be at Lunken Airport, there is talk that maybe commuter trains will be run on this line to connect downtown to the new train station. While the Torrence Rd. station is long gone, could it's rails see regular passengers once again in the near future via an Eastern Corridor rail plan?
Make sure to also check out Queen City Survey's blog post on the abandoned rail station
------------------------------Previous Update :: November 14, 2009 - 49 Floors, 49 Stories to Tell.
Like what you see or read here? Follow the adventures of Gordon Bombay on Twitter, consider becoming a fan on Facebook or sign up for the Queen City Discovery Monthly Newsletter.