Paris, TN to Paducah, KY

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The location of the former yard at Hardin, KY. Photo by Shawn Dunnaway, August 2009.

The Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railroad ran from Paris, Tennessee to Paducah, Kentucky and was originally constructed around 1890. In 1982, a thirty-mile section of the railroad between Paducah and Hardin, Kentucky was abandoned and the rails were removed. The right-of-way can clearly been seen in aerial images.

Shortline railroads operated from Hardin through Murray and on to Paris, Tennessee over the next few years. Most notably, the Hardin Southern Railroad ran nostalgia passenger trains from about 1994 through 2004 from Hardin to Murray. In 2005, HSRR ceased operations and the nine-mile track was acquired by the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation for the purpose of Murray's Industrial Park. In March of 2009, the MCCEDC abandoned most of the line from about two miles north of Murray to Hardin.

Tracks are currently being dismantled through the small communities of Almo, Dexter and Hardin, which is also the location of a small yard. The KWT Railroad continues to operate freight trains using a small section of the MCCEDC-owned line in Murray as well as their own tracks from about Highway 80 in Murray down to Bruceton, Tennessee.

Thanks to Shawn Dunnaway for contributing information about this route.

Nice story but a sad one a tragety for Kentucky. We have seen a lot of lines disapear since the early eightees. If you ever get in the Princeton area stop in at the Caldwell County RR museum and meet Glenn Martin. A great person and an expert of rail history in West KY.

Bruce Gordon
Finchville., KY


Great photos, although sad to see the removal process.

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY


Are any of these rails still on the ground? If so, how much? Or are they all gone now?


Howard Espravnik
Nashville, TN


I think this line extended even further to go right by the Paducah Railroad Museum as some track is visible above the roadway leading to and maybe past Ingram Barge Co.

Nolan Cain
Ledbetter, KY


I moved to Murray, Ky in 2002 after my wife passed away. Our son is a graduate of Murray State. I love this area of the country. It is beautiful all year round. I agree with Mr. Gordon, it is a tragedy to see these rails removed. We could connect so many wonderful communities with a light rail system. What a wonderful way it would be to travel close, or far, from home.

Keil Huggerstuut
Cologne, Germany, KY


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