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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Ford Motor Company


The New York Times
December 1, 1922

Cincinnati Rail Stockholders Speculate on Reported Coal Project.

Special to The New York Times.

CINCINNATI, Nov. 30.—The report that Henry Ford contemplates the purchase of 100,000 acres of rich coal land in southeastern Kentucky, now controlled by the Elkhorn Coal Company, has aroused speculation as to how he would tap it by rail. Holders of the stocks of two railway lines that could be linked to join with the Ford road, the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton, are watching developments closely.

Holders of the securities of the American Rolling Mills Company, of whom there are many in Cincinnati, are particularly interested in the reports coming from eastern Kentucky of Ford surveying parties at work there. They believe that the railway line which stretches south from Ashland, Ky., about forty miles, may become an important link in the Ford project.

This line, owned by the American Rolling Mills Company, is now under lease to the Chesapeake & Ohio. The Ford road has its southern terminus at Ironton, across the Ohio River from Ashland. Piers for a connecting bridge are already in place, having been abandonedby the late Eugene Zimmerman when he gave up the project for building into Kentucky from that point.

If Mr. Ford should select this route, by cutting sixty miles to the south and veering a bit to the west, he could strike the upper reaches of the Licking River and easy grades. Besides opening up virgin territory, this route could continue on eastward in a sweep across Virginia to the seaboard at Newport News or Sewell's Point.

Another possibility is the use of the Eastern Kentucky Railway, which runs from Hanging Rock to Webbville. A third route, which has been discussed, has to do with rights to run over the Norfolk and Western down the east side of the Big Sandy River to Louisa, Ky., then crossing to the Kentucky side and building a line down to the Elkhorn field.

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