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View Full Version : Western Kentucky & Central Tennessee September adventure


Jonathan Guy
12-16-2003, 06:47 AM
The Weather Service predicted sunshine and nice weather for the week.
Sounds like a good reason for a ROAD TRIP! Mark McDougal and I decide to
check out Paducah, KY and Central Tennessee. Since we both work 3rd shift
and sleep at odd hours anyway, a 1am Tuesday morning departure from
Chattanooga was in order.

Our first stop was breakfast at the IHOP in Clarksville, TN. Guthrie, KY
is just across the state line so we make a short detour to find the RJ
Corman operation. 3 GP16s are sitting at the engine house, 1603, 1604 and
1629. An caboose painted as L&N 1369 is a static display at Kendall/3rd St.
Still several hours to sunrise and no pictures from Guthrie.

We arrive in Paducah and wander around town in the early morning darkness
to see what we want to photograph. The sun is beginning to come up, and we
decide to start photographing in Metropolis, IL at the IC Ohio River Bridge.
We find a nice spot at the corner of the Harrah's Riverboat parking lot and
wait. We didn't have to wait long for a northbound freight with IC1030 and
IC6034OLS. A river tug and barges are tied up in the background.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31608

Leaving the bridge we decide to stop by the town square and photograph
the 15' Superman statue, it is Metropolis after all! Just as we start to
climb back into the truck we hear a horn and fly back to the bridge to catch
a southbound grain train. We've done enough in IL for a short trip and head
back across the Ohio River.

We head over to the Paducah & Louisville Yard in Paducah and find a CN-IC
unit coal train tied down in the yard with CN2614 and IC1022 for power.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31610

Also sitting in the yard is P&L GP10 8337.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31609

Buried behind several TTX flat cars are more GP10's that appear to be
stored/retired. 8314, 8339, 8393, 8200, 8319 and 8340.

We here chatter across the radio about the Mayfield Local getting ready
to leave the fuel rack and couple to his train. GP10 8464 still in IC black
and Mother/Slug set 2109/2110 will be today's power for the Mayfield Local.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31626

Time to head for downtown Paducah and get photos of the IC1518 2-8-2
Mikado on static display near the waterfront. Painted solid black with no
lettering yet applied. One website I've read says this was the last
operating steam engine on the Illinois Central.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31611

VMV is just a few blocks away. Sitting in the dead line are NS/exCR GE
8086,8083, 8123,8131, 8112, 8103, 8093, 8121, 8128, 8088 and a plethora of
other units blocked by this string. There were 2 unidentified GPs (35 or
38, hard to see) that were painted in an attractive Maroon/gray/yellow
stripe scheme, Algoma Central or a CP inspired scheme, anyone have any
ideas? Sun wasn't with me, so no pics to share.

After a late lunch we head for Hardin, KY and the Hardin Southern. The
HSRR runs passenger excursions on the weekends, but nobody is around on a
Tuesday afternoon. They use an ex-MILW SW1 as power. A Davenport 20T is
also in Hardin and looks to be a new addition to their collection. HSRR
also has a rusty Prairie steam engine that they are restoring for service.
SW1 863 http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31612
Davenport http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31613
Steam #4 http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31620

We arrive in Murray, KY, our overnight stop. We still have some daylight
left and decide to run down to Paris, TN and see if we can find the KWT.
The address I have for KWT is Depot Street in Paris. No luck so we turn
back and call it a day. About 3am Wednesday morning the curse of working
3rd shift rears its ugly head and we're off again. We head for Bruceton, TN
to find the CSX/KWT interchange. We find the KWT GP16 304 in the darkness
next to an abandoned building. We also find another caboose on static
display lettered as L&N 263, sitting next to the Police Dept. Breakfast is
next on the list while we wait for daylight. Driving back over to Bruceton
I'm floored by what we find. The abandoned building is an 8 stall
ROUNDHOUSE. I pretty much slide to a stop in a parking lot to grab a photo
in the early morning sun. Mark thinks I've lost my mind the way I start
babbling on about not knowing this still existed and drooling over the photo
op.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31617

On to what we came here for, the KWT 304 sitting next to the roundhouse
(WOW, I still can't believe it).
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31618

Leaving Bruceton we drop down to Hohenwald, TN to find the South Central
Tennessee Railroad. We find the railroad, it looks as if they've scattered
a little new ballast and added a new siding or two in Hohenwald. Starting
our trek north we hear the train on the radio heading north. Following the
tracks the best we can we aren't catching up to the train. The railroad
meanders off into the woods here and there but we're still heading north and
run all the way to Nunnelly. There are several beautiful locations and
bridges along this line, the sun is in a great spot and I lament the fact
that we were too late to grab any of those photo locations. I find out at
Nunnelly that we've gotten ahead of the train and its still switching in
Centerville. WAHOOOO, here we go south on the main road and find him just
coupling up to head north again. A quick right turn on Hwy 50 and we pull
over for a bridge shot.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31623

Running back toward Grinder's Switch we find another spot for photos of
this colorful motive power. Stopping at the grade crossing we find out this
is power that came from Railtex's Missouri & North Arkansas. The 3840's SP
heritage is evident in the nose light package (and the part that was
removed).
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31622

We've heard the Dickson Switcher, and we really aren't that far away...so
here we go. This unit turns out to be chop nosed GP9 900 in Virginia
Southern RR paint.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=31624

Time to head for home, another short excursion draws to a close. Stay
tuned for further adventures, there no telling which direction we'll head
next.

Chris Starnes
12-16-2003, 03:24 PM
Good reports, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing.

Nice shots, too!

CTS

iCe
12-16-2003, 07:20 PM
Both report and photos are great! :D