CSX - West TN and Western KY, 09-27 & 09-28-2014
Rail Fan Adventure --
After spending Friday night in Brownsville TN, we continued east up US 79 toward Bowling Green KY. This would avoid busy I-40 and I-65 and bypass Nashville TN. It would also follow much of the former L&N Bowling Green-to-Memphis line.
Basically CSX’s Memphis SD is ex-L&N east to McKenzie. From there the L&N used the former NC&StL branch from Hickman KY, to Bruceton TN to utilize NC&StL’s Memphis-to-Nashville main line. The NC&StL’s line from Bruceton to Memphis was subsequently abandoned. L&N’s line from Bowling Green to Paris TN, eventually became R J Corman, and the small segment from near Paris to McKenzie was ripped up. Up through rural west Tennessee the CSX Memphis SD is fairly straight with a 49 MPH speed limit. It is operated by track warrants, as there are no CTC signals.
1. Pictsweet Company at Bells TN is one of the numerous agriculture related industries along the Memphis SD. You see Pictsweet frozen veggies at the major food stores. SW900 9414 probably came from the B&O. Bells TN.
2. There were several of these mechanical reefers shoved out at the CSX interchange. Pictsweet Co SW900 9414. Bells TN. View 2.
3. Pictsweet Co SW900 9414. Bells TN. View 3.
4. Checking out CSX in Humboldt TN, we see a headlight coming up from the south. West Tennessee Railroad B23-7 4071 (ex-NS, nee-CR) and C30-7s 5543-5517 (ex-BN) slowly waddle into town with a northbound grain train.
5. They’re on the former IC, nee-GM&O main line coming out of Jackson TN. WTNN 4071-5543-5517 Humboldt TN. View 2.
6. Here they are crossing CSX’s Memphis SD. WTNN 4071-5543-5517 Humboldt TN. View 3.
7. Upon startup in the early ‘90s, West Tennessee RR used four ALCo RSD12s acquired from the Lake Superior & Ishpeming. Three of those were originally C&O. I shot them at Trenton TN in 1992, and they were in junk condition. This train was entirely NS covered hoppers probably received at Corinth MS. There had probably been a joint station in Humboldt at one time. WTNN 4071-5543-5517 Humboldt TN. View 4.
8. Looking north toward McKenzie on CSX’s Memphis SD. Interchange track with WTNN on the right. CSX Memphis SD Humboldt TN.
9. Approach signal to a passing siding at Trezevant, TN looking north. The “APP” marker, according to the CSX rule book, provides information only about the next signal, not conditions of the track ahead. “Proceed, approaching next signal as authorized by the aspect displayed.” I didn’t see the end of the passing siding, so I don’t know what kind of signal it had. CSX Memphis SD signal Trezevant TN.
10. Looking north on the abandoned L&N right-of-way past the former station at McKenzie TN. Crossing is the former NC&StL line up to Hickman KY. It now only goes north as far as Dresden TN, about 13 miles. Former L&N depot McKenzie TN.
11. Looking south on the jointed Dresden Br. Up about the crossing the new connection with the L&N comes in from the right, and CSX uses this line on down to the junction/crew change point of Bruceton, about 22 miles. Former L&N depot McKenzie TN. View 2.
12. Looking north on the Dresden Br. Former L&N depot McKenzie TN. View 3.
13. The former L&N depot in Paris TN. R J Corman operates this ex-L&N main north to Bowling Green KY now. Paris was the crew change point between Bowling Green and Memphis. With Fort Donelson Civil War battlefield still on the agenda, we didn’t have time to look around town for the remains of the old L&N yard and terminal. Former L&N depot Paris TN.
14. We were able to spend an hour or so at Fort Donelson before proceeding on east. The Confederate seacoast artillery controlled the Cumberland River and turned back the Federal fleet of river gunboats. Fort Donelson TN.
15. Foote's Gunboat Flotilla sign. Fort Donelson TN.
16. Fort Donelson TN. Iron valentines.
17. Fort Donelson TN. Artillery.
18. Fort Donelson TN. Taking a Chimney.
Union troops under U. S. Grant won the battle and control of this vital river.
Train images used by permission of Everett N Young
last update - 13 Feb 2015