Nashville Chattanooga and St. Louis
The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad was chartered on Dec. 11, 1845, to build a five-foot gauge line between its two namesake cities and was Tennessee’s first railroad. Its first train, pulled by a locomotive named Tennessee, operated in April 1851 between Nashville and Antioch. After the Civil War, the railroad acquired other companies, and in 1873, the company amended its name to the larger sounding Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. Despite its new name, the railroad did not St. Louis, and in 1880, the rival Louisville & Nashville Railroad obtained a controlling interest in the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. However, the two lines remained independent until they merged in 1957.
The Paducah, Tennessee & Alabama was created following a July 1889 consolidation of several earlier companies. However, by the end of October 1893, a federal judge appointed a receiver for the road following a lawsuit filed by creditors in St. Louis. The move made it a prime candidate for a takeover. In October 1895, J.W. Phillips of St. Louis purchased the company for $1 million. He also secured the Tennessee Midland with the intent of merging the lines into a single company. It was soon revealed the Louisville & Nashville was behind the acquisition. The owner resold the companies to the Louisville & Nashville on December 14, 1895.
The Rome Railroad incorporated in December 1839 as the Memphis Branch Railroad and Steamboat Company of Georgia. The 18-mile-long line opened in December 1849 between Rome and Kingston, Georgia, where it interchanged with the Western & Atlantic Railroad. The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway purchased the railroad circa 1894 and effectively operated it as an extension Western & Atlantic, which it leased from the state of Georgia starting in 1890. A Rome Railroad locomotive, the William R. Smith, played an important role in the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862 during the Civil War. The Interstate Commerce Commission granted approval for the railroad to abandon the line in 1943.
The state of Georgia chartered the Western & Atlantic Railroad on December 21, 1836, and the state-owned line eventually built a railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The railroad, which formally opened on May 9, 1850, was instrumental for the founding and location of Atlanta, helping it grow from railroad crossroads to a logistics hub. The Western & Atlantic was an integral road during the Civil War. On April 12, 1862, Union spies stole a locomotive with the intent of destroying the line. The state leased the line to a private company for the first time in 1870. CSX Transportation currently leases the line from the state of Georgia.