The latest extensions to the Texas & New Jersey Railroad were added in 2018 when my wife and I decided to save some money by giving up some time while going to visit our grandkids in Ohio. I checked first for a “real” train, but Amtrak service in Ohio is sorely lacking.
Like traveling to New Jersey, there are many alternatives, all of which have their issues. As I looked at the map, I realized you can just follow the Jersey Line into Tennessee and then turn off in Nashville, which means you get some of the Tennessee hills. This was the original route for Cedarville service. My son and I did this route when his family moved North. I rode in the U-Haul truck with him to Nashville and flew home while he finished the drive. (I’m a good Dad, not a great Dad.)
This is the Cedarville Line, which was how we were planning to go. Once I started having Swift truck flashbacks, I began looking at alternatives.
You can just follow the existing Northern Route to Columbus, Ohio and then just head south – which allows you to fill up on Italian specialties at the Italian grocery we found in Columbus (which causes breadcrumb flashbacks.)
I decided the way to try (mainly to give us some hopefully nice views of the Mississippi River) was to head to Memphis, and then head due north, avoiding Tennessee entirely. The new route will go through Arkansas with an overnight stop in Blytheville, then into Missouri and Indiana on the way to Ohio.
The original route was almost a circle – going northeast on the Jersey Line to Nashville and then up new trackage to Cedarville, and returning via a spur to Columbus and the Northern Line southwest. Now, you head south in Missouri on the Cedarville Line, and continue into Oklahoma on the Northern Line.
So, two lines really should be its own railroad – the Texas & Ohio.