Take the TC Train

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602 S. Gay Street
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Knoxville, TN 37902

Referencing your article “Ghost Train To Nashville” [Secret History by Jack Neely, June 1, 2011] on the Tennessee Central Railroad: The Tennessee Central extended about 250 miles from East Tennessee to Middle Tennessee and connecting into Kentucky. The railroad had a brief life of about 80 years and was completed at a later stage of national railroad construction, making for a fierce competitive environment. The route the Tennessee Central followed plays well into Tennessee history. The route was through a resource-rich area of the state where mining (especially coal) and foundry activities were important. As these industries declined, so did the financial stability of the railroad. It ceased operations and was divided among three carriers (Southern Railway, Illinois Central Railroad, Louisville & Nashville Railroad). Some parts of the lines remain and others have been abandoned.

A book by Cliff Downey, Tennessee Central: The Nashville Route (2005), provides a complete historical account and is well illustrated. The book is occasionally available at local Borders Books.

Charles Jones

Knoxville

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