Providence to Blackford And Dixon

The Western Kentucky Railway

Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

Abandoned rails outside of Providence, KY. Photo by Howard E. Espravnik, May 2011.

STB Filings and Decisions

Docket Number   Activity
  • A notice of exemption was filed to abandon all 38 miles of the Railroad on December, 29, 2010.
  • The STB decided to railbank the Railroad and granted interim trail use to the Commonwealth of Kentucky on February 25, 2011.
  • The abandonment of the Railroad has been consummated on September 4, 2012.

The Western Kentucky Railway applied to the TSB on January 7th, 2011 to abandon this line. They were all ex-Illinois Central coal haulers. The railroad's interchange had been with CSX in Providence, Kentucky. Three coal mines had used these lines.

Approximately 40 miles of track are being abandoned, all of it in Western Kentucky.

Howard E. Espravnik


These tracks use to run past my fathers granmothers house, which would be over to the right hand side of the pict. I deft remember that substation is the background... me and my cousins use to throw rocks at the substation as well as when trains came through we would throw rocks at the coal cars....also where the grass is that use to be a hughe coal field...

cincinnati, OH


the right hand side of picture 2. Last time I was down there in mid 90's I remember seeing some CSX trains

cincinnati, OH


In Elmer Sulzer's book "Ghost Railroads of Kentucky" on age 149 it shows the portion from Clay to Dixon already being abandoned at the time of printing of the book,about 1967. The text states the ICC granted a request to abandon this section on March 17,1937. Was this the same railroad or a different one?

Brian D. Gray
Cannelton, IN


What is that red light on top of the crossbuck shown in picture 14 used for? God bless.

Cleveland, MS


The light was so the crew could see that the crossing protection was functioning from a distance.

Delaware, OH


I was an engineer on the WKRL the red light on the cross bucks was there to warn traffic. The crossing is on HWY 109 down in a valley, you could see the light on top before you crested the hill.

madisonville ky


Is there anything left of this railroad line or has it all been cut up by now? That and what is left of the mines and industries it once serviced. Thanks for any info, I'm rather intrigued by short coal haulers that are still around.

Stephen Lane
Williams Grove, PA


It has since been took up and sold as scrap, the roadbed remains but as far as the track goes, its gone. I was going to go down therr and explore before it was took up but never got the chance to do so. No telling what u will find on that old railroad line.

David Fugate
Mortons Gap, KY


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Do you have any pictures or information about The Western Kentucky Railway? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.