A bit of background: the DT&I, B&O SW Portsmouth Br., and the Hocking Valley Jackson Br. once ran into Jackson (and the CH&D skirted the eastern fringe). Around 1983 (IIRC), the DT&I was abandoned south of Jackson at Bloom Jct. to Ironton (Ohio River and the N&W), followed by the line to the west at Waverly (N&W, CSX). The B&O Portsmouth Br. was then abandoned south to Sciotoville from Bloom Jct., and east from Jackson to an area north of Wellston (can't remember the junction).
So Jackson was left with decreasing connections. What is left today is a branch that runs from Hyden south along the DT&R Wellston Br. via Wellston, a junction at Berlin Crossroads, Glen Roy, Coalton, Jackson and south to Oak Hill and Bloom Jct. The southern terminus has one customer that receives 4 carloads of stuff a week.
The city of Jackson owns the lines I believe south of Hyden, and U.S. Rail maintains and operates over the line. The I&O was prior to that. There is now talk of reviving the abandoned DT&I south of Bloom Jct., approximately 40 miles, that has one tunnels and several small trestles that need to be completely rebuilt.Jackson Council and U.S. Rail talk repairsBy Felicia Tackett, Times-Journal Writer, May 14, 2009
JACKSON- It is no secret that there is some long standing animosity between the City of Jackson and U.S. Rail since they are currently involved in a lawsuit, but that did not deter one of the owners from addressing council Monday evening.
Marion Hall, spoke to council about some observations his company had made and offered some suggestions about spending the $2 million in stimulus funds, recently approved. Also speaking with council was Shane Goodman, who is now employed by U.S. Rail.
[...]“For two years, U.S. Rail has worked closely with the Lawrence County Port Authority to explore the feasibility of the extension of the railroad south to the river.” Goodman said. “We’ve met with local, state and federal officials as part of this process and had regular meetings with the Lawrence County representatives.