The Toledo & Ohio Central

The Toledo & Ohio Central comprised one of the more far-flung ends of the NYC system. The Atlantic & Lake Erie was chartered in 1869 to run from Toledo to Pomeroy on the Ohio River. This line was planning to access the coalfields of southeastern Ohio. Construction did not get very far when the line was reorganized and sold as the Ohio Central in 1878. The line to Pomeroy was opened by 1882. Looking to expand, the OC acquired the interests of the Allegheny & Northwestern and the Richmond & Allegheny. The A&N had a charter to cross the Ohio river and build towards Charleston, West Virginia, but no rails had been laid. The R&A ran between Clifton Forge and Richmond, Virginia. Combined as the Richmond, Allegheny & Ohio Central, the new company sought to connect the Ohio coalfields with the East. This was not to be, and the RA&OC entered receivership in 1883.

In 1885, the line was renamed Toldeo & Ohio Central. Carloadings were up, and the T&OC sought expansion once again. In 1892, the T&OC bought the Toldeo, Columbus & Cincinnati, giving the combined companies two routes between the Ohio River and Toledo. The former TC&C line ran between Toledo and Columbus via Kenton. The line enjoyed modest success, and by 1922 the T&OC was leased by the New York Central. In 1938, the T&OC was formally merged into the New York Central.

Lake Shore & Michigan Southern

In 1837, the Michigan Southern was chartered to build a line across the Southern Tier of Michigan to the shore of Lake Michigan at New Buffalo. Construction got as far as Hillsdale, Michigan before the road was sold to private interests. The MS was combined with the Erie & Kalamazoo, and was extended west to meet the Northern Indiana Railroad. The line was opened from Monroe to South Bend in 1851, and reached Chicago by 1852. A joint Chicago terminal was opened with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific at LaSalle Street Station. In 1855, the MS, the E&K, and the NIR were combined as the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana. At the same time, a route from Elkhart to Toledo was completed.

East of Toledo, the issue of uncomon railroad gauges made expansion difficult. By 1853, the NYC controlled the Buffalo & State Line and the Erie & Northeast railroads. They were combined as the Buffalo & Erie in 1867. The Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula, also known as the "Lake Shore," opened between Erie and Cleveland in 1852. In 1869, the Lake Shore acquired the Cleveland & Toledo, and merged with the MS&NI to become the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. Cornelius Vanderbilt acquired the line shortly after.

In 1914, the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, along with several smaller roads, were combined to form the New York Central Railroad.