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A History of the Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad.
By John E. Hartline, retired General Agent.
The author worked for the K &I T RR from June 9, 1944 until the sale of
12-31-81. My title at that time was General Agent. The new owner Southern
R.R. named me Agent Terminal Control and when the Southern merged with the Norfolk and Western
in early 1982 I was retained in that position. I retired from Norfolk Southern R.R.
1-1-86 at age 60 and wrote this history in 1991.
The railroad had its beginnings at the falls of the Ohio . And the need for a second bridge across the Ohio River to end the monopoly of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Louisville and Nashville Railroads in Louisville.
The site of the bridge is interesting. In the early years of America, those
who explored the rivers came to know the rapids and falls on the Indiana side of
the Ohio River, and the fact the river dropped 26 feet in less than two miles.
It was at this crossing that lassie, the interior French explorer is supposed to have
passed in 1669. After that came the trappers, hunters, missionaries, and pioneer
settlers followed the same trail. At this site you will find the K&I T RR bridge.
There was no bridge over the Ohio River in louisville until 1870, when the
Louisville Bridge Co. (chartered in 1856) built one between Louisville and Jeffer-
sonville. It was built for railroad use, and the L&N along with the Pennsylvania
railroad had vested interests in it. Later the Pennsylvania solely owned it.
The B&O (O&M) and Monon (LNAC); used this bridge and had small yards on the
Kentucky side. The Monon had their main yard and shops in New Albany The
Pennsylvania R.R. had extended a branch line from Jeffersonville to New Albany
but New Albany wanted a bridge from New Albany to louisville, quoting exhorbinant
charges to go via the Pennsylvania, New Albany to Jeffersonville and across their
bridge to Louisville. New Albany also wanted to get away from using the Ferries to
cross the river. A business man in New Albany, J.W. Gephart spearheaded attempts
to get around the Pennsylvania R.R. and the ferry lines opposition to a New Albany
to Louisville bridge. Mr. Gephart found an ally in another New Albany/Cinninnatti
businessman Mr. W.S. Culbertson. Mr. Culbertson's first two wives had died and his
third wife was a sister to Bennett H. Young a financier in the Louisville Community
. They secured promises from the B&O and Monon, as well as the Southern RR
to use a New Albany to Louisville bridge if and when built.
n 1880 both Kentucky and Indiana passed acts authorizing a bridge between
Louisville and New Albany to be called the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge ao.. The
man designated as President was Bennett H
Young, formerly a Confederate colonel
during the Civil War. he was born in 1843 and his home was on Ormsby Avenue in Louisville.
He was Attorney, general counsel and president of rhe New Albany and St Louis Railroad and the
president of the New Albany and Chicago Railroad. (Monon) And Chairman of the Southern Exhibition
of 1883 which saw the demonstration of the then new Electric Street Car and also the Electrric Light.
Construction of the bridge begins
The Legislature acts specified the bridge had to have
pedestrian and Horse Wagon ways on it, in addition to the one railroad track.
This would be the first time a wagon could cross the river other than by ferry.
The bridge took from 1881 to 1885 to build. A wagon way was strung on both sides
of the bridge with seven turnouts (or pockets) on each wagon way. These turnouts
allowed slower wagons to pull over in a pocket to let faster horse and
buggies to pass.
Upon completion in 1885, the B and O, Monon, and
Southern R.R.ts agreed to tie into the bridge. This meant the B&O and Monon
leaving the Pennsylvania R.R. Bridge. The B&o stipulated the K&I Bridge Company
was to replace the Kentucky side wooden trestles with iron, and when this was done
it plunged the Bridge company into receivership in 1893. The resulting suit by
Youngstown Bridge Co., who did the trestle work, went through numerous courts and
finally a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the bridge, approaches, and land,, had
to be sold to satisfy the liens. This is when the three railroads, B&O,
and Southern bid on the Bridge in 1899, and purchased it in 1900 for $ 700,000.00.
The Bridge had cost over $ 1,000,000.00 to build, with ;W.S. Culbertson and W.T. Grant
being the two big investors. The following is excerpted from a speech delivered by Bennett Young
at the detection of the second Kentucky and Indiana Railroad Bridge
regarding the founding and the need for the
Kentucky and Indiana Bridge Company
"I know something of bridge~building. ~s. old bridge at the time it was
built was the greatest cantilever system that had ever been constructed. Then,the
Louisville Southern was built, it was necessary to span the Kentucky
River, and we built at that time the longest cantilever span in existence"
"You younger people here cannot understand what it meant to build the Ken-
tucky & Indiana Bridge. The Pennsylvania and the Louisville & Nashville Rail-
roads had a hand on the throat of Louisville, in the possession and control of
the only bridge that crossed the Ohio here, and it sometimes cost $15.00 or $16.00
a car to put freight from one side of the river to the other. when people com-
plained about it, they not literally but practically answered in the voice of
Vanderbilt "The Public be damned." Well, the public got tired of being damned,
and there were some men who took up this enterprise, and said "We will give
Louisville relief; we will build another bridge." This was done, but it cost
great effort, and to some great sacrifices. The K. & I. was built, and the
Pennsylvania Railroad hasn't got much left. She has her own traffic and that
is about all. The Monon has come here; the B. & 0. S. W. is here; the Southern
is here; and the Pennsylvania is alone, and has received the rewards that come
to the selfish.
It is a little piece of history. I put $42,000.00 in the bridge, and then
we had to stop for four years. A friend of mine wrote Mr. James McCrae, Presi-
dent of the Pennsylvania Company, and said to him, "Young is tired of this enterprise
if you will give him the forty two thousand he has put into the bridge he will drop it.
He said "It is dropped anyhow." (Laughter). I said not on your life. we will
see." So we went ahead, and I had the able assistance of men nearly all of whom
are dead, but they were public spirited and nervy. The greatest assistance I
had was that from W. S. Culbertson. (Applause). He was dead game. He was a man
of fortune, and a quarter of a million dollars did not look as big to him as
it does to some of us. We haven't got that much. It didn't look big to him when
he put himself behind the scheme, and he laid down a quarter of a million dollars
to start with. Then we had Morris McDonald. He was a great help. We called
him "Tip." Then we had my friend, Louis Hartman. Then, gentlemen, we had a little
Irishman, whom I always liked, Tom Hanlon, and we got New Albany to indorse the bonds
of the K. & I. Bridge Company for $250,000.00, and that assured the enterprise.
I have always been fond of Capt. Hanlan, since, as President of the Monon, I
carried President Arthur over the Bridge. Capt. Hanlon was conductor of the train
I was President of the Monon Railroad then and President of the Bridge. The
Pennsylvania tried to steal the President. I said, "If you try to get Mr. Arthur
off this road, I will run the train two miles from New Albany, and hold it over
night so that the Pennsylvania can't take him." President Arthur was very much
- pleased with Capt. Hanlon, and before we got to Chicago he said, "Capt. Hanlon, I
am very much impressed with you. There is an office paying $4,000.00 in Indianap-
ohs, and if you will take it, I will give it to you.". Tom looked at him with a
stare and said: "Mr. President, don't you know that I am a Democrat?~
When I was actively engaged with the K. & I., they met with many difficulties
was telling some of these gentlemen this morning that for the right to go under
the Pennsylvania Railroad, an arbitrator of the City of Louisville, then holding
office, made this Bridge Company pay $33,000.00, to pass under the Pennsylvania
tracks at Fourteenth Street. When I built the Southern from Versailles to Lex-
ington, 22 miles of railroad, I paid $167,000.00 for the right of way. This is
not the right sort of spirit to exhibit. These people may injure property, and
they ought to pay for it, but they only ought to be required to pay reasonable prices.
There is only one other man that I desire to mention, and then I am done,
and that is W. T. Grant. He helped me to build the K. & I., and he was the
bravest financier I ever knew. He did more to build this terminal than I, and
Louisville owes him a debt it can never pay. This connection for factories
and manufacturing plants has added $30,000,000.00 to Louisville values, and for
this he deserves the most praise. I suppose, without being immodest, I may say
that I was the head and front, and got all the abuse, and lost a good deal of money,
and he and I have got about $200,000.00 in the old bridge. The moneys gone, but I
have got one satisfaction: It has helped my people,. and my living here has not
been in vain. The money is gone but it did much for Louisville and. Kentucky,
and I am content. When the L. & N. Railroad bought the stock of the Chesapeake
& Ohio, and Southwestern from Louisville to Memphis, I, with' Capt. Headley,
induced the Governor of Kentucky to come in and say: "You can't buy it; you shan't
buy it," and brought the Illinois Central Railroad into this town. I feel I have
done something for my town, and something for my people, and that my services of
twenty-five years ago have not been forgotten, gives me profound satisfaction.
I have come to mingle my cheers with the cheers of the people here, to offer
my congratulations, and to tender my admiration for the splendid enterprise which
marks this terminal railroad. I don't think the bridge is the biggest thing.
The terminals are the biggest thing, -- these tracks. Terminals make railroads
and this is a great terminal. Anybody can build a bridge, but this terminal
here is a magnificent development, and in its undertaking, Mr. Mitchell putting
it through, as he has done, deserves the respect and the admiration of all the
people of the City of Louisville, which I today, as the original builder of the
Indiana Bridge Company, tender him at this hour. I thank you.
The Daisy Line was a pioneer commuter rail line
The K and I Bridge company ran a steam passenger service across the bridge known as
the Daisy Line. It ran from first street in Louisville along the Portland Canal
and across the Bridge terminating in New Albany. A small traction line extended
it to Silver Hills. The passenger cars were painted yellow with brown trim
resembling a black-eyed susan, hence the name Daisy Line in 1893 this passenger
line was electrified (ONe the first in the u.s.) these operations were sold to the Louisville and
Northern Railway and Lighting Company in 1906.
The Streetcars were converted to Broad gauge to allow for operation on Louisville Railways Portland Shelby Line
and a new approach was built at 30th and Montgomery streets in Louisville during the construction of the new Bridge
. And a gauntlet track was installed on the Bridge itself. Streetcars used to bridge until 1946 when
they were replaced by the Busses of the Daisy Line. The gas Buses continued to use the highway portion of the Bridge
The construction of the second K and I Bridge in the early 1900's
These three railroads changed the name to Kentucky & Indiana Bridge & Railroad
Co. in 1900, and in 1910 to the Kentucky & Indiana Terminal Railroad Co.. They
had brought in a dynamic Gen. Manager named Wm. Mitchell in 1901 and he
started pushing for a new bridge. The first bridge was already obsolete and by
1910, after only 25 years, could not allow heavier engines and longer trains to
use it. There was a weight restriction as to the number of cars and engines that
could cross safely, and trains had to be taken across the bridge in pieces. The
single track was taking 75 freight trains per day, besides the 96 street car
crossings per day. The three railroads agreed to build another 'bridge and Mr. Mitchell
proceeded to build a double track bridge that would last. It was built beside the
first one and was hailed as the second heaviest bridge in the world upon completion.
Having the first bridge' s east side wagon way as a working platform the bridge Was
built in two years (19l0-l912~, and cost over $ 2,000,000.00.
An interesting feature on both bridges was a turn span on the Indiana shore side,
required by the US. Corps of Engineers to be opened in high water Situations. This
span could be turned manually by inserting poles in a spindle with the men pushing the
poles around like a key. The intricate set of gears slowly opened the span and
specifications called for only six men to be required to do it. A picture of the 1913
trial opening showed more like 20 men turning the spindle, rather than the six in
the specs. The bridge was only opened three times. In 1913 for a trial
on July 7th.
Then on Jan. 18, 1916 it let the steamer '1Tarascon go through, and on Mar. 28th, 1920
the steamer convict (German) ship " Success TI went through. In 1948 the steamer
Gordon Greene Was not let through because Telephone and Communications lines, etc.
would have to be severed, but the K&I and L.G.E. had to pay damages to the boat
owners. In November 1955 the Corp of Engineers authorized permanent tie down of the
From1885-1929 their bridge was the only way to cross the Ohio River at Louisville for
horse wagons and automobile traffic. The opening in 1929 of the second street
Municipal bridge ~ (also a toll bridge) did not materially affect the K and I bridge
tolls. In 1952 the wooden floor on the roadways were replaced by steel decking.
However, when the Sherman Minton bridge opened in 1962 tolls diminished greatly and
forced the elimination of toll collectors. Seventy five thousand car crossings had
dropped to 17,000 in l9~. An honor system of toll collections then failed, and
when an overweight truck almost went in the river, the roadways were permanently
closed in 1979
In 1968 the bridge was evaluated and deemed good for 50 more years.
This after having been used for 56 years. Two bridge long grain trains loaded
with 100 ton grain cars powered by six locomotives on each train can cross this
bridge easily. Strength of the bridge is Coopers B-55. Besides the train load,
or live load as it is commonly referred to, the bridge is designed to carry it's
own weight, the tracks and dead weight of the vehicular roadways. The Coopers B-55
was updated to Coopers B--75 by this study. The bridge weighs 36~ million pounds,
is 4554 feet long with approaches, and was built by American Bridge
About the General Office Building on Northwestern Parkway
The K and I corporate offices were in an old mansion at 2910
The mansion was built around 1863 by Enoch Lockhart, the Superintendent of the
Portland Canal and he could look down the embank ment upon the Canal. He sold the
mansion in 1867 to J.F. Izwin for 20,000.00 cash. Captain Irwin
Portland and New Albany ferry and his family owned most of the property the
K and I terminal was laid out on. He died in 1883, and the building was rented to the
K and I Railroad from 1900 to 1910, at which time they purchased it.
Early Yards at Youngstown
Prior to 1900 each road (Southern and B&o) did their own switching in the
Youngstown yard with their own power. The K&I Bridge Company 'had
sold to them
small plots within their yard (so~ethin~;1i]~e 1 to 3 acres). B&0 and Southern thus
had their own small yards and roundhouses. after the 1900 agreement these plots
were deeded back to the Kentucky Indiana Bridge and Railroad Company. The Monon
waited till the 1910 expansion and new bridge to bring their New Albany shop work
to the K and I T RR. It was also at this time that the old K and I shops at 29th and High
streets were moved to the expanded terminal. The location of the old shops were just
north of the tracks across from the old mansion at 2910 Northwestern Parkway. These
old shops burned to the ground in 1915 not having been used after 1910.
Following the 1910 expansion, in 1918 the yards we're again expanded, the present day
24 stall roundhouse and turntable were built. A new Gen. Mgr./Chief Engineer
(promoted to President and General Manager in 1938) ~ W.S. Campbell started and
expanded an industrial development program. His twenty eight~reign (1917-1945)
resulted in the K and I TRR serving over 200 industries Perhaps the most notable the
Rubber town complex
Following Completion of a new bridge further expansion begins
The name change to Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad Company in 1910 bears
explaining. In connection with building the new bridge it was decided to expand
the Youngstown yard. This meant streets running east to west between Montgomery
and Market streets would have to cross many more tracks at grade level. It was
decided to close some streets, put in fill embankments and build viaducts for
automobile traffic to go under the terminal tracks at Montgomery, Portland , Bank,
and Market streets. This brought violent objections from some Portland citizens
and the newspapers had a field day with this situation in 1911. It was said Portland
would be cut off from Louisville, and called the railroad "X&IsvilleT1 and referred
to Mr. Mitchell ~s "Baron". However, the work was endorsed by the city, in fact,
they had proposed the viaducts, but the protests resulted in the canceling of
the ordinance whereby the city was to put up $ 45,000.00 toward the work.
due to the scope of how many houses would need to be taken in the 1910 expansion,
the K &I took pictures of homes from 29th street to 32nd street on
Portland, Bank, and Market street. The glass negatives and pictures of homes in
1900 have been used by the Portland Museum in a slide illustration of life in
Portland in 1900 as people appear in many of these pictures dressed in their 1900
attire. Many of these homes weren't taken in the expansion and the pictures of
the homes, before (1900) and Now (1990) are very interesting.
in 1910 the viaducts were built from the bridge to Market street where the
tracks narrowed down from about 50 to 3 tracks
In 1922 the K and I was shut down during a three month long strike.
. In 1931, after much pressure from
the city, more viaducts were constructed, five of them Market street to and including
Broadway. the Pennsylvania R.R. viaducts from the r 14th street bridge past
Broadway were constructed around this 1931 period also. Then in 1937 the ~I
built two more viaducts at 18th street and 22nd street. *
Followling the Presidency Mr. Campbell (1944) the next 20 years an
Southern R.R. man, Mr. C.W. Ashby, retained and refined the find industrial base
built by Mr. Campbell. Then on board came a former B&o man, Mr. J.J. Gaynor in 1964
and he upheld the fine traditions of the K and I President until the terminal companies
interests were turned over to the Southern Railway. As a part of the terms of the Seaboard
System- Chessie System Merger
With former Monon and B and O operations at the K and I yard being
moved to the CSX Osborn
Yard and a track age rights agreement in place. The Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad became
a part of the Southern Railway System upon payment of 300,000,000 to the terminal company.
Thus bringing to end the Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad. And ending their 101 year history in Louisville.
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