Louisville & Southern Railway Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division

Railroad / Kentucky

The Louisville & Southern Railway Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division is a partly active and abandoned railroad in central Kentucky.


The Louisville, Harrodsburg & Virginia Railroad (LH&V) was incorporated in 1868, but no track was laid until the 1880s. 1 In 1882, the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railway (LNA&C was chartered and began to challenge the L&N in its near-exclusive access to the eastern Kentucky coalfields.

Seeing this, the LH&V was reorganized as the Louisville Southern Railway (LS) and hired the LNA&C’s president, Bennett Young. 1 Construction commenced on a route in 1884 from Louisville through Shelbyville, Lawrenceburg and Harrodsburg. The initial route was finished in 1888. A spur was built to Burgin where the Louisville Southern connected to the Cincinnati Southern.

In 1888, the LS began construction of a spur from Lawrenceburg to Versailles and Lexington for their Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division. 1 It then purchased the Versailles & Midway Railroad and initiated service to Georgetown.

The LS Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division opened in August of 1889 when the new 1,625-foot Young’s High Bridge opened across the Kentucky River. 1 2

The East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railway later leased both the Cincinnati Southern and the Louisville Southern, and all three were merged into the Southern Railway system in 1894. 1

The LS Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division later became part of Norfolk & Western and the line between the east side of Lawrenceburg and Versailles was listed as out-of-service in November 1985. It included Young’s High Bridge.


  1. Castner, Charles. The Encyclopedia of Louisville. “Louisville Southern Railroad.” University Press of Kentucky [Lexington], 2001.
  2. Powell, Tim. “Young’s High Bridge, Tyrone, Kentucky.” WorldTimZone. 2006.