Flemingsburg & Northern Railroad

The Flemingsburg & Northern Railroad was a standard-gauge railroad from the Louisville & Nashville line at Flemingsburg Junction to Hillsboro, Kentucky. It was financially plagued and reorganized on seven different occasions before being abandoned in 1955.

The Covington, Flemingsburg & Pound Gap Railway (CF&PG) was chartered in 1876 with the goal of constructing a 110-mile narrow-gauge line from Covington to Hazel Green in Wolfe County. 1 3 The first segment to open was from Johnson Junction to Flemingsburg in the spring of 1877. 1 Additional grading was completed to Hillsboro, but contractors stopped further construction after not being paid for their work. 1 A receiver was appointed for the CF&PG in August 1877, after which point the 12-mile Flemingsburg to Hillsboro extension was completed and opened on December 17, 1878.

The CF&PG reorganized as the Licking Valley Railroad on January 24, 1880, in hopes of completing the line from Covington to West Liberty, the county seat of Morgan County, a distance of 135 miles. The Licking Valley was reorganized later in the year as the Cincinnati & Southeastern Railway (C&S), which completed 30 miles of rough grading across Campbell County with the goal of connecting Covington to Johnson Junction. The contractors, P.O. Dickinson and C.Q. Colton, suspended work in mid-1882 for non-payment. 1

The Union Trust Company of New York sought for foreclosure of the C&S in early 1887. On May 7, the railroad was sold for a dollar to Henry F. Huntington, but it reorganized as the Covington, Flemingsburg & Ashland Railroad on April 15, 1891, and as the Cincinnati, Flemingsburg & Southeastern Railroad (CF&SE) on June 1, 1905.

Weaver’s Ford trestle, approximately two miles southeast of Flemingsburg, collapsed on May 10, 1907. 1 3 It was carrying a Baldwin steam locomotive, a boxcar, and a coach. Four passengers were killed in the resulting accident and nearly 20 were injured. The trestle was never repaired and the line from Flemingsburg to Hillsboro was abandoned.

The remaining six miles of the CF&SE between Flemingsburg Junction and Flemingsburg was converted to standard gauge in December 1909. 1 3 The railroad reorganized as the Flemingsburg & Northern Railroad on January 1, 1920, and served as a freight line until December 6, 1955, when the final 13 freight cars were hauled out of Flemingsburg.



  1. Hilton, George W. “Covington, Flemingsburg & Pound Gap Railway.” American Narrow Gauge Railroads. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. 402. Print.
  2. “Flemingsburg.” Kentucky Encyclopedia. Ed. John E. Kleber. 2nd ed. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992. 325. Print.
  3. Toncray, Marla. “Fleming County: Riding the rails of history.” Ledger Independent [Maysville] 13 Jul. 2012: n.p. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. Article.


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I have been told that my Great Grandmother, Ida Fowles, nee Staggs, was one of the volunteers who provided aid and comfort to Thomas Fowles, who perished at the train wreck site. It is said that after his death, she wrote to his mother to tell her he was comfortable and passed in peace. Sometime after Thomas’ mother and his brother George paid a visit to Ida to thank her for what she had done. George and Ida developed a relationship, married and had 8 children, one of which was my Grandmother.
If our family history is true, then this great tragedy resulted in numerous descendants, me included, that would have otherwise not been born.

Is there a historical marker for the location of the train crash and a list of those that passed away. A memorial marker? Location of the train crash?

One of the boxcar Frome the flimingsburg and Northen is in morehead at the old morehead and north fork rail yard I also have about ten or twenty minutes of footage of the rail road in action

Also, is there a map of the route and more pics? i can’t seem to find a whole lot, I’m from West Liberty, Ky. and am interested in learning more on this line. Thank you.

hello, i have a rppc , dated 1909, post marked johnson junction, ky….the photo shows std. gauge track and 3 buildings on the side with several people standing out front! i plan on having a friend list this on ebay soon, you can locate it under items listed by bob pete on e bay….sincerely, don hunter

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