Mill Creek Tunnel

The Mill Creek Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel 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.



  1. Klein, Maury. History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
  2. 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.

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