A northbound CSX freight, led by engine No. 552, heads north along the former Louisville & Nashville main line.

By Todd DeFeo

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. – Rail service first reached Springfield in 1859 with the completion of the Edgefield & Kentucky Railroad.

The road ran from north of the Cumberland River in Nashville to Guthrie, Ky., where it joined with the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville and Louisville & Nashville railroads, among others.

“On Dec. 6, 1879, the L&N purchased what were known as the Kentucky and Tennessee divisions of the same St. Louis and Southeastern Railway Company, Consolidated, operation of these properties having been begun by the L&N on July 25, 1879. The trackage involved some 146 miles in extent and lay between Henderson, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn. The Tennessee Division extended from Nashville to Guthrie, Ky., the original predecessor line being known as the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad Company, incorporated on Feb. 13, 1852, and completed in the latter part of 1859,” historian Kincaid Herr notes.