Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway
History and Steam Locomotives
Richard E. Prince
Richard E. Prince’s long out-of-print encyclopedic study of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, "The Dixie Line," with hundreds of vintage photographs, schematics, maps, and rosters.
Railroad buffs, historians, and casual readers alike will be delighted by the reappearance of Richard E. Prince’s Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. It was originally published in 1967, and its reputation as the foremost work on this railroad is still unchallenged.
The NC&StL Railway originated in 1845 as the Nashville and Chattanooga RR. Taken over by the Union Army during the Civil War, it suffered extensive damage from Confederate attack but was rebuilt and operated by the U.S. Military Railroad for over two years. Returned to its owners in September 1865, it became the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry. in 1873, after absorbing the Nashville & Northwestern RR.
During the next 25 years, it became known to the public first as the Tennessee Line, then as the Lookout Mountain Route. In 1890 it gained entrance into Atlanta as lessee of the state-owned Western & Atlantic RR. Paducah and Memphis were reached in 1896, when lines of the former Paducah, Tennessee & Alabama RR were leased from L&N. At its zenith in the 1920s, it operated approximately 1,259 miles of track, from the Mississippi and Ohio rivers through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, to Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1880, to eliminate the threat of competition that was developing between the two companies, the Louisville & Nashville RR acquired control of the NC&StL Ry., much to the dismay of the citizens of Nashville, and for the next 77 years it operated as a prosperous subsidiary of the Old Reliable. It was actually absorbed by the L&N organization in 1957 to become part of the Nashville and W&A divisions. But it will always be remembered by the people of Tennessee and