The history of railroads in the United States began back in the mid-1820s as a means of moving people and goods before other modes of transportation were available.
The story of railroad history in Xenia starts with a pioneer railroad, one of the very first in the state of Ohio, The Little Miami Railroad (LMRR). The LMRR began grading north from Cincinnati in 1841 and reached Xenia by August of 1845. This 65-mile line was open for service five or six years before Dayton received its first railroad. The early lines did not have powerful engines, so grade was a consideration. The LMRR, entered town on the exceptionally wide Detroit Street.
This was only the beginning; given time Xenia would become a hub for railroads to transfer people and goods in the town at Xenia Junction.
In 1850 The Columbus and Xenia Railroad (C&X) opened for service. The C&X entered Xenia via the valley of one the forks of Shawnee Creek, joining the Little Miami in the valley just south of the forks of Shawnee.
In 1854 grading of the Dayton, Xenia and Belpre (DX&B) began but extended as far as Jamestown and work ceased.
By the 1890s the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) swung into the junction area, with its own depot.
In time the LMRR became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) Little Miami branch, between Cincinnati and Springfield and the C&X became part of the PRR’s Pittsburg to St Louis mainline.
Railroading in Xenia peaked in the 1930s, with various shop and support facilities, a small yard and some sidings. The Greene County Historical Society has a collection of artifacts, photos and a scale model of the junction, worth a visit for rail fans and history buffs.
All of the railroads saw diminished usage by the late 1970s or early 1980s and each was eventually taken out of service, abandoned and removed.
Today the railroads are gone and the junction is now a cycling center. Xenia Station, a replica of the railroad station is the hub for 5 regional rail trails. The crossing of these 3 railroad rights-of-way created 6 spokes on a wheel with Xenia Station in the center. Of these 6 spokes, 5 have been or are being converted to rail trails. The one exception was the B&O line west to Dayton which did not become a trail because it closely paralleled the Pennsylvania mainline to Dayton.