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Thread: Knoxville Division, L&N Railroad under construction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.

    Cool Knoxville Division, L&N Railroad under construction


    Several years ago I digitized the Corbin to Knoxville line (KD Sub.) for Dudley
    Evans of Rockwood, TN. This would have been his 3rd route but he has some
    vision issues and so a few months back he turned it over to me to finish. It
    was a route that was in my bucket list so I am working on it pretty steadily
    while Lukas is poking around in the Virginian Route.

    From the 1860s until 1905, this line ran from Corbin, KY to Jellico, TN/KY by
    way of Saxton, KY. From Jellico, the L&N had rights over the Southern from
    there to Knoxville. This was not a satisfactory arrangement so starting in
    1903 or so, the L&N built a new line from Saxton, KY to Knoxville of it's own.
    The L&N also built a branch to Fonde, KY that was later sold to the Southern
    with L&N retaining rights. This led in later years to Southern operating over
    about 6 miles of the L&N from Lot, KY to Holton, TN where a tunnel bored
    through a ridge, forming the north leg of a wye leading to the now Southern
    owned branch.

    In 1905, the new L&N line was completed at the south portal of Black Oak
    tunnel, longest tunnel on the line but there are others. Another long
    tunnel, Solway, is closer to Knoxville, but one of the more interesting is at
    Vasper, TN where the L&N bored under the Southern line. These are so
    close together vertically, that the peak of the straight tunnel pieces forms
    a thin black line through the bottom of the Southern track pieces. I'll
    disguise that with some grass etc.

    I plan to release the route in two phases. Phase one will be just the L&N
    along with the Pine Mountain west, a branch from Savoy to Gatliff, KY that
    still serves a coal mine. I'll also include some L&N branches that were
    abandoned by the 1980s. The Southern from just south of Rocky Top, TN
    to just north of Vasper will be included.

    Phase 2 will add the Southern lines and the line to Fonde which will also
    include the 17 mile ARCO line, completed in 11/67 to serve a new mine
    with unit train loading. This existed until sometime in the 1990s but is
    now history. I was on the first train to the mine when we went up there
    to test the new track in 11/67. I'll be editing this post and adding more
    as time goes on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.

    Cool Some images from Rock Top, TN area

    And yes folks there is a Rocky Top, TN. Several years ago, the denizens of Lake
    City changed the name of their town to Rocky Top. Even before Lake city, it was
    called Coal Creek. It was named Lake City around 1900 after two huge mine
    explosions that in a few cases wiped out all the male members of a family.

    The first image shows our train, let's call it, the SouthLand for once the train of
    that name came this way, passing over the low trestle that spans coal creek and
    a highway beside of Rocky Top, which is seen in the background.

    Next, the train is entering the south portal of Vasper Tunnel which burrows under
    the Jellico line of the Southern (now NS) which was once home to a large unit coal
    train every other day. And finally it is exiting the north portal. This was a very
    challenging area to deal with and I used a lot of berms where I could not sculpt the
    terrain correctly. In addition, the tip of the tunnel pieces can be seen where they
    go under the SR track but I have muddied that area with grass etc.

    J. H. Sullivan
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3


    Nice to see, Jerry. That's pretty country.

    I live not far away from East Podunk. Which is a real place in mid Southern Vermont. In the depression it was so out of the way and backward that the federal government proposed some kind of program similar to the Appalachians in the south, but Vermont didn't want it. Now there are ski mountains nearby and things are not so remote. [Mandatory railroad content: the nearest Amtrak stop, about an hour away, it Brattleboro VT]


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.


    I'm originally from Nashville, TN about 150 miles west of this line and the main thing I miss, living Florida for now
    34 years, is the vertical scenery. Florida is too dang flat. Now for real vertical scenery, I go to northern NM and
    volunteer on a museum railroad ( Cumbres & Toltec) but like many situations, this CV-19 mess is probably going
    to keep me in Florida. May (fingers tightly crossed) make it out there in late Sept.

    J. H. Sullivan

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by conductorchris View Post
    Nice to see, Jerry. That's pretty country.

    I live not far away from East Podunk. Which is a real place in mid Southern Vermont. Christopher
    Hello Chris, Stratton / Wardsboro, (Upper Podunk Rd.). I be not too far from you folks over here in Newfane.
    Sadly Vt. doesn't want much of anything esp. RR related... Was so sad to help pack-up SteamTown for its move to PA.

  6. #6


    Ah, the West River Railroad! 36 miles of trouble! Hi Scott

    A few years ago a did a public presentation of Paul Charland's Connecticut River Line for the Nefane Historical Society.

    As far as Vermont wanting railroads, see
    Jerry is actually a big part in inspiring me to be more involved in rail advocacy. Years ago we were part of the "All Aboard Amtrak" mailing list that was influential for me and Jerry had a lot of things to say that I took heed of.


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