Standing on 10th Street in downtown Clarksville, it’s hard to imagine that this was once a bustling transportation hub around the turn of the 20th century. Passenger trains no longer pass through the city and freights trains are seldom seen. But, the tracks are there and they are still in use. The old depot, known by locals as the L&N Station, still stands, but it no longer serves weary travelers stepping off a train from Louisville, or passenger ready to being a trip.
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
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