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Fernbank Lock & Dam Marine Railway

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Old 02-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 15
Default Fernbank Lock & Dam Marine Railway

Capt. Jim Blum’s recent comment about Fernbank and its old marine railway reminded me of my explorations of the grounds many years ago and of having seen the remains of that railway. I was inspired to go back to the park on this cold Sunday morning, camera in-hand.

The parkland still owned by the city of Cincinnati though it is leased to the Hamilton County Park Board. The county has done an amazing job in creating a really nice park that is frequented by many. I will try to get photos of the upgrades to the park on my next visit (both of my camera batteries died).

I was, however, able to get shots of the railway. There are eight separate rails each supported by a concrete foundation. When you consider the downward angle of the railway and the fact that the river today is 5 feet above Markland pool – let alone what Fernbank pool was, this must have been a relatively long set of rails. I was struck by the amount of riverbank that has built up between the visible, lower ends of the rails and the river, which is perhaps 50 feet away (photo 9). There are photos of other remains that I hope can be elaborated upon by those of you who are familiar with the old Lock 37 site. These include what I would assume was a platform tower for a small crane and nearby is a deteriorating wall of steel at the river’s edge.

Here is a link to an aerial view of the area.

Lock and Dam Number 37 (historical) - Ohio - Map and Area Photos

You will note that at the southeast end of the park, beyond the paved roads, is an area of dense forest with a path leading to a small clearing. This clearing is located very close to the top of the marine railway…for those of you interested in doing your own exploration.

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