On Feb. 28, 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – arguably the most important railroad in American history – received its charter from the Maryland and broke ground on July 4, 1828 – 52 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On hand for the ceremony was Charles Carroll, the last surviving person to have signed the Declaration of Independence. On Jan. 7, 1830, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad started its daily run, though tracks were not yet completed between Baltimore and Ellicott’s Mill, Md. It was the first time in American history a railroad carried revenue passengers.
CADIZ, Ky. – The Cadiz Railroad was built around the turn of the 20th century for the purpose of transporting tobacco to Gracey, Ky. At Gracey, about eight miles away, the railroad connected with the Illinois Central and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The railroad, completed on March 15, 1902, operated until 1985. According to legend, when the railroad was organized in 1901, a company needed to have at least 10 miles of track. So, founder William Cleland built about two extra miles of curves into the line to ensure Cadiz would have its own rail line. A locomotive and
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway traces its origins to December 1845 when the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad was chartered. The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad was Tennessee’s first railroad. Following the Civil War, the railroad began to acquire other lines, and in 1873, the company’s name changed to the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. However, the railroad never reached St. Louis. The line’s major competition was from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. In 1880, the Louisville & Nashville gained a controlling interest in the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, but the two lines remained
ATLANTA – On Dec. 21, 1836, the Georgia state Legislature authorized the construction of a railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn., forever shaping the state’s history. Surveying for the railroad, which would become the Western & Atlantic Railroad, began in 1837. Construction began in November 1839, and the complete line was opened in 1850. The first train between Atlanta and Marietta, Ga., ran on Dec. 23, 1842. It would be another three years before regular rail service would begin on the stretch of track. The railroad’s southern terminus, Atlanta, was a growing railroad town, which by the mid 19th century
TENNESSEE RIDGE, Tenn. – April 27, 1898, marked the beginning of a very obscure railroad that was built to serve the community’s iron industry. That day, the Tennessee & Cumberland River Railroad was incorporated, and the 13.95-mile line was built at a cost of $110,000. The railroad remained in operation until 1917. According to Elmer Sulzer’s 1975 book “Ghost Railroads of Tennessee,” the railroad owned one locomotive, one passenger coach and 13 freight cars. In Tennessee Ridge, the Tennessee & Cumberland River Railroad had a junction with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. On the other end, the railroad terminated in
Thanks to a land grant from then President Millard Fillmore, the Illinois Central was chartered in 1851 to build a line from Cairo, Ill., to Galena, Ill. And during its long history, IC made its mark on the nation as a vital transportation route through the heartland of America – the “Main Line of Mid-America.” By 1870, the network reached Sioux City and, in 1878, it reached the Gulf of Mexico. On Aug. 10, 1972, the Illinois Central merged with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, creating the Illinois Central Gulf. In 1999 IC merged with CN, becoming the only
In 1827, South Carolina granted permission to the South Carolina Canal and Railroad to build a line. In September 1829, the company hired Horatio Allen as its chief engineer and track work began on Jan. 14, 1830 – two years after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. On Dec. 24, 1830, the railroad demonstrated the Best Friend of Charleston. The locomotive, designed by E.L. Miller and C.E. Detmold, was built at the West Point Foundry in New York City. The day after the trial run, the Best Friend of Charleston was placed into regular duty by the railroad and would remain