From Ohio History Central
During the 1830s, the idea of railroads was just beginning to spread across the United States. The state of Ohio, like other parts of the nation, began to look at railroads as a way to connect various parts of the state together. The Little Miami Railroad was the second railroad to be built in Ohio. The state legislature granted the Little Miami Railroad Company a charter in March 1836. The purpose was to connect the city of Cincinnati to Springfield. The line was completed between 1837 and 1848. The company financed the railroad's construction through pledges from both the state government and local governments. Linkages to other railroads in the years preceding the American Civil War established a network that linked most of Ohio, as well as many other parts of the country.
In the years following the Civil War, the Little Miami Railroad experienced the same type of problems that other small lines faced. Enormous railroad corporations were taking over the smaller lines and incorporating them into their networks. In 1870, the Little Miami Railroad leased most of its line to the Pennsylvania Railroad system as part of a ninety-nine-year agreement. This lease was renewed once again in 1968.
Like many railroads, most of the Little Miami line no longer operates today. The last trains stopped running in the 1970s on most of the line. There is a small portion of track still in use in Cincinnati, but the rest of the line was retired. The railroad right-of-way has been incorporated into a recreational bike path known as the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which is more than seventy miles long.