Louisville & Nashville LCL Subdivision - CSX, Louisville Division, LCL Subdivision


Former Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington/Louisville & Nashville LCL Subdivision (Short Line)

Standard gauge line opened in 1869

Downtown terminal: Pan Handle Station (Pearl & Butler Streets)

In use

While its parent railroad, the Lexington & Ohio, was chartered in 1831, the earliest west of the Allegheny Mountains, it wasn't until 1869 that the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington began running trains to Newport Kentucky. In 1868, even before normal operations began to Newport, they incorporated the Newport and Cincinnati Bridge Company to construct a combined rail and road bridge over the Ohio River, expected to be complete in 1870.  The location was chosen to align with the LC&L's track on Saratoga Street in Newport and to connect with the Little Miami Railroad's terminal area along Butler Street in Cincinnati.  The close proximity to the tracks on the Ohio side, and their perpendicular alignment to the bridge, required a sharp 90º turn and a steep approach.  This arrangement, paired with the Little Miami's tight yard configuration, required LC&L trains to pull past the station then back in, an awkward operation that lasted until passenger operations were moved to Union Terminal.  The bridge was slated to open on time, yet railroad opponents (chiefly riverboat operators) aided by the Corps of Engineers required a partial rebuilding of the brand new bridge to raise the deck and widen the clearance between the center spans.  This delayed opening until 1872, and after the LC&L was acquired by the L&N Railroad in 1881, increasing traffic required replacing the bridge in 1896 and adding streetcar tracks and a separate carriageway for road vehicles. The railroad was abandoned over the bridge in 1985, which remains to this day as the pedestrian-only Purple People Bridge. All the track on Saratoga Street were removed, and the through track at Latonia Junction was also torn up as well, at which point the remaining track between Latonia and a junction with the Chesapeake & Ohio at Monmouth Street was separated into the L&N Wilder Main, primarily serving the Newport Steel factory.  


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