CSX 2708 - C&N Branch/Scottsville Branch - Nov. 2015

CSX 2708 at Red River Road

CSX 2708 - Red River Road - Gallatin, TN
CSX 2708 - Red River Road - Gallatin, TN

CSX 2708 gets ready to lead a local train down the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad's (L&N) Scottsville Branch Line. The train is seen here sitting at the Red River Road railroad crossing. Behind the train and out of site is the CSX Main Line Subdivision, which was also a L&N rail line. These days, according to an old CSX timetable from 2005, the branch line is known as the C&N Branch.

CSX 2708 - Steam Plant Road - Gallatin, TN
CSX 2708 - Steam Plant Road - Gallatin, TN

In the second photograph CSX 2708 is nearing the Steam Plant Road crossing on the branch line. Just behind the train and out of site, is a spur line that diverges from the C&N Branch and runs down to the TVA's Gallatin Steam Plant.

Scottsville Branch Line

The Scottsville Branch line was built in the 1880s, and it ran between Gallatin, Tennessee, and Scottsville, Kentucky. Initially, the line was started by the Cumberland and Ohio Railroad, but it was finished by the Cincinnati, Green River & Nashville Railroad. Heading north from Gallatin, the line passed through the towns of Bethpage, Bransford, and Westmoreland, before crossing into Kentucky. Once in Kentucky, the branch line passed through the town of Adolphus, before reaching Scottsville.

Hartsville line and junction

About five miles to the northeast of Gallatin, and two miles south of Bethpage was Hartsville Junction. Hartsville Junction sat just to the north of Roganna Road and east of Bledsoe Creek. At the junction, the Scottsville Branch connected with the Middle & East Tennessee Central Railway's Hartsville line, which ran to Hartsville, Tennessee. Eventually, the Hartsville line became owned and operated by the Cincinnati, Green River & Nashville Railroad. Later on, both of the Scottsville and Hartsville lines became part of the Louisville & Nashville Railway.

Remnants of the lines

While most of the tracks are long gone on both railroad lines you can still see the outline of much of it on satellite imagery, and in person. For example, when following the line northeast from Gallatin, the outline of Hartsville Junction can be seen because it is outlined by trees that have grown up around and inside the railroad track wyes that formed the junction. Also, just to the southwest of the junction you can still see some of the rail line's old bridge piers standing in Bledsoe Creek. There are also two surviving tunnels on the Scottsville Branch line, at Westmoreland, Tennessee.  Plus, in the towns of Hartsville and Scottsville the old railroad stations are still standing. According to the Trousdale County Government's website, the station in Hartsville is now a museum.

Today, the branch line's tracks go no further now then the intersection of Hartsville Pike and Airport Road in Gallatin. In total, between Red River Road and Hartsville Pike, the remaining length of track on the branch line is about three and a half miles. There are a number of spur/industrial tracks that connect with the branch line in Gallatin. The longest of these spur tracks is the one that diverges from the branch line between Steam Plant Road and South Westland Avenue. This spur line heads south to the TVA's Gallatin Steam Plant. Originally, coal was delivered to the plant by rail, but now the plant receives coal by river barges. There are a few other businesses along this spur track that do still receive railroad shipments.

Further information 

Much of the historical information for this post was found on the Scottsville Kentucky Train Depot website, which is linked to below.
Below is a map of the C&N Branch, as well as the former track alignment of the old Scottsville Branch that I created. OpenStreetMap had the path of the old rail line, which I was mostly able to compare and verify against satellite imagery, especially on the southern end of the Scottsville Branch and the western portion of the line to Hartsville.


See map in full browser window

Photographs taken: November 3, 2015, at Gallatin, Tennessee.

Comments

  1. Very interesting info. I always wonder how you learn all you know about these things. thanks for sharing your source for this one. I am sure a lot is getting out and exploring but still. :-) Great images too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks a lot, Shelly. Some of what I write about is common knowledge that has been passed around among rail fans, especially my knowledge about St. Louis and Kansas City. I have a good friend who once worked for one of the big railroads in KC, so he passed on a lot of info to me over the years. And yes you are correct, a lot of it is just getting out an exploring.

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