Southern to Danville

The NS line from Cincinnati to Danville, Kentucky has probably the most unique history of any line into the Queen City.  It was chartered in 1869 through the efforts of attorney E.A. Ferguson, by the City of Cincinnati to provide a more direct connection with the South and the Port of New Orleans, bypassing the slow, upriver Mississippi and Ohio and the competing cities along that route.  Named the Cincinnati Southern, it was completed at a cost in excess of $18,000,000 and began operations on February 12, 1880 after years of opposition and financial intrigue.  Engineering was supervised by W. A. Gunn, who planned the route, with construction supervised by G. B. Nicholson and G. Bouscaren.   The line was completed with a total of 27 tunnels totaling 4.6 miles in length and 105 bridges of various lengths.  In 1881, the line was leased to the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railway.  Originally built to 5 foot gauge, it was converted to standard gauge on May 30, 1886 in a single day.   The CNO&TP entered receivership in 1893 and through a series of acquisitions and other actions, the CNO&TP (still leasing the CS) came under the control of the newly formed Southern Railway.  The CNO&TP was associated with the Queen & Crescent Route in honor of its terminal cites nicknames (Cincinnati is the Queen City, New Orleans is the Crescent City).  Although it was never completed to its intended destination, it did reach the major southern rail hub of Chattanooga, where it connected with other Q&C roads.  In the early 1960's the Southern Railway rebuilt much of the 2nd District, which greatly modernized and revitalized the line, making it a major rail artery in the Midwest.

Cincinnati Southern founder E. A. Ferguson

    Today, Southern Railway successor Norfolk Southern, still leases the Cincinnati Southern (still its formal name) through the CNO&TP from the City of Cincinnati.  The line is divided into three districts, the first being what is covered below, from Cincinnati to Danville, Kentucky, known as the First District of the CNO&TP of the NS Central Division.  History from "The Cincinnati Southern: A History" published in 1902 by the Cincinnati Southern under the editorship of Charles G. Hall.

Mile Post (southbound) Station Name Notes
MP 0.0 (north end double track) Cincinnati Jct. Lake Div., CSXT
MP 3.0 Ludlow Engine Terminal
MP 9.8 Erlanger  
MP 12.5 (south double track) Rice  
MP 22.0 (north end double track) Bracht  
MP 24.5 Adams  
MP 32.0 (south double track) Reid  
MP 38.1 (single track) Williamstown single track
MP 43.0 (north end double track) Mason  
MP 46.8 Blanchet  
MP 50.4 (south end double track) Rohan  
MP 56.6 (single track) Sadieville single track
MP 62.2 (north end double track) Rogers Gap  
MP 65.4 Delaplain Toyota plant / yard
MP 69.4 Georgetown  
MP 72.2 (south end double track) Akers  
MP 77.4 (north end double track) Greendale  
MP 79.6 Fayette  
MP 81.7 Lexington Yard / Jct. R. J. Corman RR
MP 83.2 Rosemont  
MP 85.6 (south end double track) Bishop  
MP 93.0 (single track) Nicholasville single track
MP 95.7 (north end double track) Jessamine  
MP 98.2 Wilmore  
MP 102.5 High Bridge Kentucky River
MP 105.0 (south end double track) Brown Brown Power Plant lead
MP 109.0 (single track) Burgin single track
MP 110.7 (north end double track) Faulkner  
MP 113.2 SJ Tower Wye, Jct. LS District
MP 116.4 DV Tower Danville Yard
MP 116.6 Danville  


Defect Detectors

MP 8.0 Crescent Springs, Kentucky (dispatcher monitored, no radio transmission unless defect found)

MP 14.2 Devon, Kentucky

MP 20.0 Walton, Kentucky

MP 33.2 Dry Ridge, Kentucky

MP 41.5 Mason, Kentucky

MP 51.9 Hinton, Kentucky

MP 60.0 Rogers Gap, Kentucky

MP 72.9 Akers, Kentucky

MP 87.8 Bishop, Kentucky

MP 98.4 Wilmore, Kentucky

MP 109.0 Burgin, Kentucky

Radio Frequencies

160.950 - Road

160.245 - Dispatcher

An NS yard job works Gest Street and is viewed on the approach to the Ohio River Bridge.
NS 61N southbound from Gest Street as seen from the US 50 pedestrian overpass off Mehring Way.
Triple Crown #264 arrives in Cincinnati.
A NS inspection train heads south in the late evening with an A-B-A set of F9's in October 2007.
Crossing the Ohio River bridge at Ludlow.
Power shuttles from Ludlow across the bridge to Cincinnati.
Southern SD45 at the Ludlow fuel rack.
Southbound at Ludlow
A nocturnal visit to Ludlow in 1992.
NS #27V is northbound at Bromley descending Erlanger Hill.
NS #132 at Bromley.
Southbound over Amsterdam Road on the 3rd trestle.
NS #229 climbs Erlanger Hill at Highland Crossing.
NS #50V grinds up the hill at Crescent Springs with run-through Canadian Pacific power.
#117 at Erlanger with a rare GP40X leading.
#215 southbound at Rice with UP "Olympic Torch Relay" unit #2002 leading.
#143 at Richwood.
NS #375 southbound at Walton passing over the former L&N to Louisville, Kentucky.
Another angle of the Southern crossing over the L&N at Walton.
NS Y4A southbound at Adams south of Walton.
Southbound off the US25 bridge at Crittenden.
#236 southbound in one of the many curves at Sherman.
#56N with four high hood geeps at Dry Ridge.
#R41 at Mason with a train of portable housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
#236 at Blanchet.
Coal train #890 passes some fall color at Corinth.
Lexington station and yards in the late 1890's.
The original High Bridge as seen around 1900.
A northbound Southern train at Danville in 1982.

  Animated gif of NS 40D cresting Erlanger Hill in 2014.

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