The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)
Railways of the United States — the Louisville and Nashville
Am examination of the map of the United States will reveal the fact that the cities of Louisville and Nashville, in the States of Kentucky and Tennessee respectively, are but some 187 miles apart. But from this it should not be concluded that the mileage of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, one of America's greatest and oldest lines, is confined to this figure. The L. and N., or the “Old Reliable” as it is sometimes called, is a far-flung system, operating over and entering the thirteen States of Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. These are, for the greater part, in that section of America known as “The South.” The territory-served is some 500,000 square miles in area with a population of twenty-two million people.
History of the System.
The L. and N. ranks thirteenth in mileage among America's some 200 Class I. railroads (roads with a net income of £1,000,000 or more per year), and is one of the oldest systems in the States. It still operates under the name which it received in its original charter from the State of Kentucky on 5th March, 1850. Actual construction was started in May, 1853, but it was not until some six years later that the line was completed between the two cities from whence it derived its name. On 1st November, 1859, the first through train between the two big cities puffed proudly into Nashville, loaded to the creaking point with notables. This was just before America's Civil War (1861–1865), and the L. and N. played a very important part in this conflict between the North and South, serving as it did the border States between the Confederacy and the Union. Time and time again its track, but so recently laid, was uprooted and destroyed by the rebels, and its bridges and rolling stock were made to feel the annihilating touch of the torch. Nevertheless, and paradoxical as it may seem, the Louisville and Nashville emerged from the Civil War in a very good shape financially, and soon thereafter started its lusty, rapid growth—a growth of construction and acquisition—an evolution which was the gradual transformation of a small road some 187 miles long to a system embracing some 5,000 miles of track and with, in normal times, some 50,000 employees.page 47
Since the Civil War not only has the L. and N. grown, but the South has also prospered, and this prosperity of the latter is directly attributable in a large measure to the L. aad N. Through its Industrial and Agricultural Department particularly, and through its policies generally, it has since 1900—and long before that, but in a less highly organized way—encouraged colonies of immigrants to settle along its lines.
Passenger and Freight Services.
Located on the lines of the Louisville and Nashville are Mammoth Cave, the famous cavern, recently made the nucleus of a National Park in Eastern Tennessee, and Stone Mountain, a gigantic memorial to the heroes of the late Confederacy, located near Atlanta, Ga. On the face of this mountain (solid granite), which ascends almost perpendicularly some 1,000 feet into the air, are to be carved in heroic dimensions the figures of Jefferson Davis, Generals Lee and Jackson, and various other notables of the Confederacy.
As is the case with the majority of American railroads, by far the majority of the L. and N.'s revenue is derived from the hauling of freight. In normal times, coal constitutes page 48 60 per; cent, of the tonnage handled on the L. and N., and is responsible for 40 per cent, of its revenues. At present due to the economic situation, carloadings on the Louisville and Nashville are at a lower figure than they usually are. Normally, carloadings average around 35,000 cars a week. The capacity of these cars ranges from 30 tons to 50 tons each. About one-half of the tracks over which these cars travel is laid with 100lb. rails. Over one-fourth is laid with 90lb. rails, and the remainder consists of 85lb., 80lb, and 70lb. sections. Ties (sleepers) used are of red oak, sap pine, white oak and cypress. The first two kinds mentioned are seasoned for a year or more and then treated with creosote oil, but the last two are placed in the track unseasoned and untreated. On the L. and N. approximately 2,800 crossties are used for each mile of single track (564.31 miles of the company's line is double-tracked).
Despite the depressed condition of business the company is proceeding with various projects and undertakings requiring the expenditure of large sums of money. These include participation in the construction of a gigantic Union terminal at Cincinnati, Ohio, costing in the neighbourhood of £41,000,000.00 and covering 240 acres, grade separation work in the city of Birmingham, Ala. (259,678 population), involving the elevation of tracks for a distance of 6,500 feet, and construction of a new bridge over the Ohio River at Henderson, Ky.
The general offices of the Company are housed in an eleven-story office building at Ninth and Broadway, in Louisville, Ky. This building is used exclusively by the Louisville and Nashville Railway. From this location are directed the destinies of a road which for seventy-five years or more, in fair weather or foul—either economic or atmospheric—has served its territory well, and, like a gigantic irrigation system of steel, has enriched it immeasurably.page 49
the fair year of childhood, fresh, greenandbalmy.“-Richer.
our children gallery-from left to right, readingfromtop:(1) wallacecleaverandrowan thompson;peggy and joyse auld; (3) murray and bruce beach; (4) fay and joyse wilkinson; (5) consyance and patricia donaldson; (6) rodney,tom andgrace nicholls; (7) owen and sheila thomas (all of rotorua); (8) shirley slade (frankton junction); (9) gay cleaver (rotorua); (10) sylvia forsyth (waipara).