A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Louisville and Nashville Railroad

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The Louisville and Nashville Railroad was a Class I railroad that operated freight and passenger services in the southern United States. Chartered by the state of Kentucky in 1850, the L&N, as it was generally known, grew into one of the great success stories of American business. Operating under one name continuously for 132 years, it survived civil war and economic depression and several waves of social and technological change. It was one of the premier Southern railroads, but also extended its reach far outside its home area, ultimately building a network of nearly 7000 miles of track.(wik) Major cities served by the L&N included Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Pensacola. The L&N had lines extending into the Eastern Kentucky and Western Virginia coal fields. It also linked with many southern railroads servicing the gulf and Atlantic coast states and Florida. Many fine Chicago to Florida bound passenger trains, including the C&EI, Dixieland, Dixie Flyer and Dixie Limited, routed on the L&N from Evansville to Nashville on the way to Florida destinations, and the Pennsylvania, Florida Arrow through Indianapolis and Louisville to the L&N for the trip to Montgomery, Alabama on the way to Miami, the Pennsy's Southland through Fort Wayne and Cincinnati to the L&N for a run to Atlanta on the way to Tampa-St. Petersburg, and the Pennsy's Flamingo through Logansport to Cincinnati to the L&N to Atlanta, headed for Jacksonville, Florida.

Louisville and Nashville
January 2, 1939

Short History of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad
1850-51 - States of Kentucky and Tennessee charter L&N to build Louisville to Nashville.
1853-55 - First eight miles built in Louisville and first train.
1859 - 187 miles built from Louisville to Nashville and regular train schedules established.
1861 - 269 miles built at outbreak of Civil War, now existed on the union-confederate front lines.
1861-65 - War years were advantageous to L&N since it was in the union state of Kentucky and the union captured Nashville, so the road was used heavily, in spite of some damage.
1865 - Railroads south of L&N were devastated and L&N moved to fill gaps with then cheap labor.
1865-1895 - L&N expanded by mergers, acquisitions and building of lines from Ohio & Missouri to Louisiana and Florida, and to all major cities in its system.
1872 - L&N moves into high grade coal and iron ore territory in Eastern Kentucky and Northern Alabama and to Montgomery, a steel producing city.
1880's-1890's - L&N acquired, leased or constructed 56 lines.
1880 - L&N acquires controlling interest in Nashville Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad, but operates it as separate entity.
1881 - L&N completed to Mobile and New Orleans gaining international markets.
1881 - L&N expands beyond Tennessee line to Jellico.
1879-81 - L&N acquires lines to coal fields and extends to Norton Virginia.
1891 - Extension to Atlanta, Georgia.
1902 - Speculations by J.P.Morgan turn financial control of L&N over to Atlantic Coast Line, which did not take effective action to control the L&N.
1900's - L&N acquires or builds into Western Kentucky, and Northern Alabama coal fields.
1909-1912 - L&N pushes further into Eastern Kentucky coal fields with 150 miles of track through acquisition or construction.
1917-1945 - L&N prospers during war years.
1939 - First diesel purchased.
1941-1945 - 80% freight and 300% passenger increase during war years.
1940 - New Pennsy and C&EI lightweight streamlined trains the "Southwind" and "Dixie Flagler" introduced and travel on L&N with streamlined 4-6-2 pacific steam locomotives.
1940-50's - L&N dieselizes.
1945 - L&N acquires a few passenger diesels.
1947 - L&N acquires new E7 EMD passenger diesels.
L&N 1892
Louisville &
November 15, 1892
1957 - NC&St.L merged with L&N, giving L&N trackage from Memphis, and Nashville to Chattanooga and Atlanta.
1957 - Last steam locomotive retired.
1969 - L&N acquires 208 miles of C&EI trackage north from Evansville to Woodland Jct. with trackage rights into Chicago. L&N also acquired 131 miles of the Tennessee Central
1971 - L&N acquires the Monon.
1982 - Seaboard Coast Line absorbs L&N, and changes name to CSX.
1986 - Seaboard Coast Line and C&O merged as CSX.

Louisville and Nashville timetable map January 2, 1939
Louisville and Nashville timetable map - January 2, 1939

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Louisville and Nashville Historical Society(lnh)
Classic Trains - Kalmbach Publishing Co.-summer 2006
Americas Colerful Railroads - Don Ball Jr. (dbj)
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 29, 2009, revised June 22, 2011