The Mill Creek Tunnel was located along the Louisville & Nashville Railroad’s “Short Line” in Carroll County, Kentucky.
Created from the merger of the Louisville & Frankfort and the Lexington & Frankfort Railroads in 1867, the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington Railroad (LCL) connected the cities of Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati together. 1 Started by the Louisville & Frankfort to construct a line from LaGrange and Covington, the “Short Line” was completed in 1869 and included five tunnels at:
- Mile 38, White Sulphur (Campbellsburg), 632-feet
- Mile 47.7, Mill Creek (Barnes), 478-feet
- Mile 73.6, Eagle, 636-feet
- Mile 76.9, Zion
- Mile 98.9, Independence
Little industry opened along the Short Line, and long grades and curves limited the loads that could be pulled by the locomotives of the era. 2 Traffic declined with the opening of the Cincinnati Southern in 1877. The LCL was reincorporated as the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington Railway but ultimately went into bankruptcy in 1881. 1 2 It was then acquired by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N).
The Mill Creek Tunnel was enlarged to accommodate larger trains by the L&N’s successor, CSX Transportation (CSX), and ultimately bypassed.
[su_spoiler title=”Sources” icon=”caret”]
- Klein, Maury. History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
- Bogart, Charles H. “Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad.” Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by James C. Claypool and Paul A. Tenkotte, University Press of Kentucky, 2009, pp. 565–566.