Central City to Dawson Springs

Point of Interest

(Forwarded from the Elizabethtown & Paducah Railroad)

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A small amount of rail remains at the western end of the line in Dawson Springs. Photo by Howard E. Espravnik, October 2004.

This abandoned railway was built in 1869 by the Elizabethtown and Paducah Railroad. It was later acquired by the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad, itself purchased by a joint Illinois Central/Louisville & Nashville campaign in 1893; the line soon came under the control of the IC.

The line served a number of strip mines in the region, and included a number of small branch lines to gain access to these mines. The IC owned and operated the line up until the 1980s, when it abandoned most of the line, mainly due to the strip mines closing, and because the IC already had another line to the north that also connected Central City and Dawson Springs. About 5 miles of the line's western end, between Dawson Springs and Ilsey, was picked up by the Paducah and Louisville Railway, a regional shortline, who operated that segment up the P&LR filed for its abandonment, effective November 12, 2003. The tracks were removed the following year.

Thanks to Howard E. Espravnik for contributing information about this route.

Although I understand these photos were taken not long after the tracks had been removed and that this was several years ago, this right-of-way looks like it was in great shape at the time of abandonment and I would hope is still very well preserved. Hopefully it will converted to a trail or preserved for potential future rail use. Excellent photos!

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY


I imagine that it is unsafe, but um, whenever you come up to a bridge that is like in the pictures, it is unsafe. Right?? I have always been fascinated with abanded railroads, the bridges and everything else about them. I think that all abanded rails should be converted to trails, so that people have a place to walk and ride their bicycles. Of course, it is just my opinion. What do you think??

Jacksonville, IL


I live about s mile from the abandoned line east of Dawson Springs. The last of the tracks were pulled up in the fall of 2004. Two sections of the line have been converted to rail trails. The is 1.5 miles in White Plains and 6 miles from Podwerly to Central City . There was an attempt to convert the whole stretch to a trail but it was rebuffed by some people who owned property along the line .

Rick Laffoon
Dawson Springs, KY


Would make an excellent trail to ride horse's & mules

Freddy Craig
Horse Branch , KY


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/4rm

Do you have any pictures or information about Central City to Dawson Springs? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.