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Historic Profiles

Elkton & Guthrie Railroad

GUTHRIE, Ky. – The Elkton & Guthrie Railroad was incorporated on Feb. 10, 1871, as the Elkton Railroad Company. “Work on the railroad was very slow and 13 years later, only the right of way had been cleared and the roadbed graded,” Dennis Mize wrote in his 1999 book L&N’s Memphis Line. “To make matters worse, the line was out of money and the prospects of raising additional funds for laying track and purchasing rolling stock were bleak,” Mize wrote. “The problem was solved by turning to L&N’s president, Milton H. Smith, who signed a contract on Aug. 30, 1884

History

An ‘Appalling Catastrophe’

At about 8 p.m. on Sept. 29, 1906, a northbound Louisville & Nashville Railroad passenger train — No. 102 — steamed towards a swing bridge crossing the Cumberland River. Near the overpass, a glowing red light broke the night’s darkness, signaling for an approaching train to stop.